Thursday, June 10, 2004

Sigh...

Now we have word that a musical great, Ray Charles, has died. Another major loss in the span of a week. This is being a stinker of a week, isn't it.

"Georgia On My Mind". Man, he just ripped that song. You can listen to him sing and just see it all in your head.

Perhaps my favorite memory of him is Ray playing the music store owner in "The Blues Brothers". When he sat down at that keyboard hit those 6 notes, wow! You just hung on and went along for the ride.

Rest in Peace, Ray. You'll be on our minds as long as your music lives.

Reflecting on Reagan

Like a lot of others, I've been listening and watching the mainstream media coverage of Ronald Reagan's life and funeral. The more I learn about the man, the more impressed I become with him.

You hear these great lists of his accomplishments: successful actor, Governor of California, President of the United States, the man who won the Cold War and a lot more besides. The very impressive achievements of a self-made man. Men like Ronald Reagan are indeed few and far between.

But I think that we're missing his greatest achievement--he gave America the gift of renewed self-confidence. During the Carter Administration (gag) pessimism was the order of the day. We had a "crisis of confidence" and incessant talk of America's "limits".

Ronald Reagan came along and was the exact opposite of Carter. Full of optimism for the future and a "can do" spirit, he made us belief in ourselves and in him as our leader. Confidence? The man had it in spades. Limits? What limits? He didn't recognize "limits" on anything, especially the potential of America. "Limits" was not in his vocabulary.

Then there was "The Smile". He always smiled--and he joked! I can't remember Jimmy Carter ever having a sense of humor about anything. Unless you were one of those humorless liberal types, I couldn't see how you could help but like the guy. He might be the President, but you could picture him as you older next-door neighbor.

Americans responded to this positive image and message and elected him not once but twice to our highest office. And while he may have made a few gaffes, I'll put him on my list as the greatest US President of the 20th century. Because of Ronald Reagan, we "suffered" through a 16 year economic boom unprecedented in our history. The boom was so strong it was even able to withstand Bill Clinton's (spit) first term as President.

I wonder when we will see his like again.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

My kind of woman

(Via WorldNet Daily)

Now this is my kind of woman--in more ways than one. Beauty and intelligence in one package.

One thing I don't get--why is she "Aging rocker Rod Stewart's ex-wife" rather than Rachel Hunter?

Monday, June 07, 2004

Everyone else is seeing it

But the United States seems to be mired in a "can't see the forest for the trees" problem:

Welcome to America

When writer Elena Lappin flew to LA, she dreamed of a sunkissed, laid-back city. But that was before airport officials decided to detain her as a threat to security ...


Read the entire article, but let me give you the most important part now.

Somewhere along the way, in the process of trying to develop a foolproof system of protecting itself against genuine threats, the US has lost the ability to distinguish between friend and foe. The price this powerful country is paying for living in fear is the price of its civil liberties.

I remember various members of the media punditry making the observation shortly after 9/11 that if we weren't careful, we'd do more damage to ourselves than the terrorists ever could. It would seem that they were unfortunately correct.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

The Violence Policy Center--at it again

The Gun Zone has a hilarious piece on the VPC's latest attempt at scare-mongering, where they attack the new Smith & Wesson .500 pistol. Read it--it's really great.

President Ronald W. Reagan, 2/6/1911 - 6/5/2004

The United States has lost a true giant, Ronald W. Reagan, 40th President of the United States of America.

I never met President Reagan, but he made it possible for me to go to college. You see, under Democrat administrations, my working-class non-minority family made too much money to get any assistance with my college expenses--even loans were out. Eventually, the money ran out and I had to go to work. After a couple of dead-end jobs (and a presidential election), I heard that there were new programs and "expanded eligibility" that were supposed to help people like me. I checked it out and found I was eligible. Between some grants, some loans and what I could earn working 30 or so hours a week, I was able to earn my Bachelor's degree.

That degree has gotten me where I am today. No, I'm not in some exalted position of power, but I have met the dream of my parents--I've done better than they did. My first job our of college I made more than my Dad did on the day he retired.

Thanks, Mr. President, from one grateful American, and his parents.