Saturday, December 27, 2008

Apollo+40: Welcome Home Apollo 8!

All times listed are in the form MET/EST:

146:51:42/10:42 - The communications blackout is over, and Apollo 8 and its crew are fine after man's first lunar reentry!

146:54:47/10:45 - At 30,000 feet altitude, Apollo 8's drogue parachute successfully deploys, slowing and stabilizing the spacecraft for main parachute deployment.

146:55:38/10:46 - All three main parachutes deploy succesfully!

147:00:42/10:51 - SPLASHDOWN! Apollo 8 is home! It would take about another 90 minutes for the crew and spacecraft to be recovered by the USS Yorktown, but crew and craft are safe back on Earth.

Man's first voyage to the Moon has ended, and the course to Man's first landing on the Moon has passed a critical waypoint!

Apollo+40: Entry Interface

Apollo 8 has begun its violent descent into Earth's atmosphere - faster and hotter than any manned spacecraft to date. In just 25 seconds, all communications from the spacecraft will be blocked by the ionized gas surrounding the spacecraft. For five minutes, no one will know if Apollo 8 and its crew survive. If they're coming in too steep, they will be incinerated. Too shallow, and they'll skip off the atmosphere never to return.

And assuming they do make it through the atmosphere alive, the parachutes still need to open...

Apollo+40: Approaching home

Apollo 8 is speeding towards the very narrow reentry corridor. The Service Module was just jettisoned, leaving just the cone-shaped Command Module left of the massive vehicle that left Earth just six days ago...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Apollo+40: There is a Santa Claus!

Apollo 8 had been out of touch now on the far side of the Moon for almost forty minutes. Any second now, contact would be regained with the spacecraft if the TEI burn had been successful.

Mission Control waited. America waited. The world waited. Would Humanity's first Moon voyagers be coming home?

Telemetry received, right when it was supposed to be with a successful TEI! Waiting for the crew's voices...then, through some static:

Apollo 8 (Lovell): Apollo 8, over.

CAPCOM: Hello, Apollo 8! Loud and clear.

Apollo 8 (Lovell): Roger. Please be informed there is a Santa Claus!

CAPCOM: That's affirmative. You are the best ones to know!

Apollo 8 is on the way home. One critical point is left - hitting a very small reentry corridor, with only one chance to do so.

Apollo+40: Tenth and final orbit?

Earlier at 23:56 EST/88:05 MET, Apollo 8 had been given the go from Mission Control for the critical Trans-Earth Injection (TEI) burn - the firing of the SPS engine that would if successful sent Apollo 8 on a long coast back to Earth. Should it fail, Borman, Lovell, and Anders would become a permanent fixture in Lunar orbit, along with their spacecraft.

At 00:42 EST Christmas morning, Apollo 8 passed behind the Moon for what was hopefully the last time. TEI would happen on the far-side...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Apollo+40: In the beginning...

At 21:36 EST, 85:45:00 MET, Apollo 8 began a historic televsion broadcast from lunar orbit:

Apollo 8 (Borman): This is Apollo 8 coming to you live from the moon...What we will do now is follow the trail that we've been following all day and take you on through to the Lunar sunset. The moon is a different thing to each one of us. I think that each one of us - each one carries his own impression of what he's seen today. I know my own impression is that it's a vast, lonely forbidding type existence, great expanse of nothing...and it certainly would not appear to be a very inviting place to live or work. Jim, what have you thought most about?

Apollo 8 (Lovell): Well, Frank, my thoughts are very similar. The vast lonliness up here of the moon is awe inspiring and it makes you realize just what you have back there on Earth. The Earth from here is a grand oasis in the big vastness of space. Bill, what do you think?

Apollo 8 (Anders): I think the thing that impressed me the most was the Lunar sunrises and sunsets. These in particular bring out the start nature of the terrain...

The crew of Apollo 8 then continued to describe lunar features and geology for several minutes. They closed their broadcast at about 86:06:15 MET with the following:

Apollo 8: We are now going over approaching one of our future landing sites selected in this Moon region called the Sea of Tranquility, smooth in order to make it easy for the initial landing attempts...We are now approaching the lunar sunrise and for all the people back on Earth, the crew of Apollo 8 has a message that we would like to send to you.

Apollo 8 (Anders): In the beginning, God created the Heaven and the Earth. And the Earth was without form and void and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters, and God said, "Let there be light." And there was light. And God saw the light and that it was good and God divided the light from the darkness.

Apollo 8 (Lovell): And God called the light day, and the darkness he called night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. And God said, "Let there be a fimament in the midst of the waters. And let it divide the waters from the waters." And God made the firmament. And divided the waters which were above the firmament. And it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And evening and morning were the second day.

Apollo 8: (Borman): And God said, "Let the waters under the Heaven be gathered together unto one place, and the dry land appear." And it was so. And God called the dry land Earth. And the gathering together of the waters called He seas. And God saw that it was good.

And from the crew of Apollo 8, we pause with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas, and God bless all of you - all of you on the good Earth.

Apollo+40: Earthrise!

Forty years ago, Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders witnessed the first Earthrise in human history! Cheers went up around Mission Control when contact was regained with the spacecraft at 69:31:00 MET.

Apollo 8 is in lunar orbit!

Apollo+40: The first LOI

Apollo 8 is out of touch on the far side of the Moon, and if everything is going according to plan, the Service Propulsion System engine is burning to slow Apollo 8 so it can be captured by the Moon's gravity and into Lunar orbit. Assuming a good burn, Mission Control expects to regain contact with the spacecraft at 69:31:00 MET, about 23 minutes from now.

Apollo+40: Loss of Signal

From the Ground-to-Air Communications:

CAPCOM: Apollo 8, Houston. 1 minute until LOS. All systems go. Roger, safe journey, guys.

Apollo 8: Thanks a lot, troops. We'll see you on the other side.

CAPCOM: Apollo 8, 10 seconds to GO. You're GO all the way.

Apollo 8: Roger.

At 69:01:00 MET, about 04:52 EST, Apollo 8 passed behind the Moon and out of touch of Earth. Mankind would have to wait to find out whether Apollo 8 was able to enter Lunar orbit or would be coming home on a free-return trajectory.

About seven minutes to LOI.

Apollo+40: Go for Lunar Orbit

At 68:04:00 MET, Mission Control has just notified Apollo 8 that they are GO for their Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI) burn, to take place behind the Moon and out of touch with Mission Control in a little more than one hour.

Less than an hour now until Apollo 8 passes behind the Moon, and out of communication.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Apollo+40: In transit

Forty years ago, the crew of Apollo 8 were progressing towards their date with the Moon. The Earth-Moon transit wasn't without concern though. Frank Borman, Apollo 8's commander, suffered the first American case of what is known today as Space Adaptation Syndrome, e.g. motion sickness. Borman recovered, and the mission progressed as planned.

Apollo 8 would be executing their 2nd mid-course correction tonight at 20:50 EST - 60:59:56 Mission Elapsed Time (MET).

The mid-course correction would be used to direct Apollo 8 to the point in space where they would pass behind the Moon, and enter Lunar orbit on Christmas Eve.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Apollo+40: Where No Man Has Gone Before

At 2:50:37 MET (Misson Elapsed Time) - 10:41 AM EST - Apollo 8 became unlike the any previous voyage in Human history. The third stage of Saturn V booster 503 was relit. This is known as Translunar Injection (TLI), and sent Borman, Lovell, and Anders on their way to the Moon.

Fellow Astronaut Michael Collins, originally to have been an Apollo 8 crewmember but who was replaced by Jim Lovell due to a back injury, acted as one of the spacecraft communicators in Mission Control for Apollo 8. Collins' first stint for the flight was for the launch and TLI phases. In Collins' wonderful memoir, Carrying the Fire, he recounts the moment (pages 305-306, emphasis mine):
The next big event was reigniting the third-stage Saturn V engine to set
sail for the moon. Known as TLI (translunar injection), this burn had to
take place precisely at 10:40 Eastern Standard Time [NASA mission reports
indicate 10:41], which meant that before then the crew had to check everything
on a long list of equipment, each item of which had been deemed vital to making
the trip. If something was broken, we should know about it now, not after TLI,
when trajectories become very complicated. Fortunately, the checks went
smoothly, and spacecraft 103, Dave Scott's pampered baby, seemed to be purring
along flawlessly. Now the big moment came. As we counted down to
S-IVB ignition for TLI, a hush fell over Mission Control. TLI was what
made this flight different from the six Mercury, ten Gemini, and one Apollo
flighs that had preceded it, different from any trip man had ever made in any
vehicle. For the first time in history, man was going to propel himself past escape velocity, breaking the clutch of our earth's gravitational field and coasting into outer space as he had never done before. After TLI there would be three men in the solar system who would have to be counted apart from all the other billions, three who were in a different place, whose motion obeyed different rules, and whose habitat had to be considered a separate planet. The three could examine the earth and the earth could examine them, and each would see the other for the first time. This the people in Mission Control knew; yet there were no immortal words on the wall proclaiming the fact, only a thin green line, representing Apollo 8 climbing, speeding, vanishing - leaving us stranded behind on this planet, awed by the fact that we humans had finally had an option to stay or leave -

and had chosen to leave.

TLI completed successfully just over five minutes later. Godspeed Apollo 8!

Apollo+40: Man's First Voyage to the Moon Begins!

At 7:51 AM EsT on December 21, 1968 the human race began its first voyage to the Moon. American Astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders had earlier boarded Apollo Spacecraft CSM-103 atop Saturn V booster 503. After a normal orbital insertion, Apollo 8 awaited the moment that would make this voyage different from any undertaken by man: Trans-Lunar Injection.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

TFH 12/4: First to Jupiter!

Thirty-five years ago today, NASA's Pioneer 10 became the first spacecraft to fly by Jupiter and photograph the planet up close! Pioneer 10 and its brother Pioneer 11 paved the way for the follow-on explorations of the outer solar system by Voyager 1, Voyager 2, Galileo, Cassini, and New Horizons.

December 3, 1973 was a finest hour for NASA and our great, space-faring Nation!

More information:
Encyclopedia Astronautica

Who put Chambliss convincingly over the top?

Saxby Chambliss would probably have won the run-off on his own, but he gives credit where credit's due for his overwhelming victory. Guess who?

Thank you, Georgia

Saxby Chambliss of Georgia decisively crushed his Democratic opponent in yesterday's run-off to hold onto his Senate seat, and deny - at least in numbers - the Democrats a filibuster-proof majority.

In some instances now, we'll have another line of defense besides Justices John, Antonin, Clarence, Samuel, and Anthony as the Left tries to completely deconstruct American society and trample the Constitution.

Far, far too many RINOs in the Senate though - filibusters won't always be able to be sustained. Coleman is still ahead in the MN recount; here's to hoping it stays that way.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Who cares about the Constitution?

Pittsburgh's city council apparently does not. The council has preliminarily passed an ordinance requiring gun owners to report the theft of their weapons within 72 hours or face fines or imprisonment!

When asked for a reaction to this ridiculous measure potentially being at odds with Pennsylvania law, the Pennsylvania Constitution, and the 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution, Councilwoman Tonya Payne of District 6 actually said:

"Who really cares about it being unconstitutional?"

Not only does this measure need to be defeated or vetoed, Ms. Payne needs to be removed from office.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Mark the Date

Why? Because I'm going to say that President-elect Barack Obama has done the right thing. What did he do? Decide to keep Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in his post.

A quick survey of lefty blogs indicates that the Obamatons are not pleased. Good.

Friday, November 21, 2008

TFH 11/21: The Dawn of the Net

You're reading this blog because of the United States Department of Defense's Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA). On this day in 1969, the forerunner of today's Internet - ARPAnet - went live.

Whenever somebody says that defense spending is nothing but weapons, remember that DoD invented the Internet (sorry, Al Gore, it wasn't you) and then gave it away for all mankind.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Apollo+40: To the Moon!

The big newspaper story for November 13, 1968 was NASA's announcement the previous day (yes, I missed the actual day) that Apollo 8 - with Commander Frank Borman, Command Module Pilot Jim Lovell, and Lunar Module Pilot Bill Anders - would fly to the Moon in December!

This decision had been made previously but was not announced publicly until all of the data from the Saturn V test flights and the successful Apollo 7 mission in October could be reviewed. Final approval for the world's first manned lunar mission was given by NASA administrator Thomas Paine on November 11, 1968.

Apollo 8, targeted for launch on December 21, 1968, would truly go where no man had gone before!

Source: Encyclopedia Astronautica

Well, at least Hitler was anti-smoking!

Wikipedia reaches the heights of ridiculousness with today's "featured article", Anti-tobacco movement in Nazi Germany.

At least the article manages to tell the truth to somewhat blunt the otherwise assumed benefits of such a crusade:

Apart from public health concerns, the Nazis were heavily influenced by
ideology; specifically, the movement was influenced by concepts of racial
hygiene and bodily purity. Nazi leaders believed that it was wrong for the
master race to smoke and that tobacco consumption was equal to "racial
degeneracy". The Nazis viewed tobacco as a "genetic poison". Racial hygienists
opposed tobacco use, fearing that it would "corrupt" the "German germ plasm".
Nazi anti-tobacco activists often tried to depict tobacco as a "vice" of the
"degenerate" Africans.

The Nazis claimed that the Jews were responsible for introducing tobacco and its harmful effects. The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Germany announced that smoking was an unhealthy vice spread by the Jews. Johann von Leers, editor of the Nordische Welt (Nordic World), during the opening ceremony of the Wissenschaftliches Institut zur Erforschung der Tabakgefahren in 1941, proclaimed that "Jewish capitalism" was responsible for the spread of tobacco use across Europe. He said that the first tobacco on German soil was brought by the Jews and that they controlled the tobacco industry in Amsterdam, the principal European entry point of Nicotiana.

What a surprise that the Nazis blamed the Jews! I'm shocked! That anybody can cite anything that Nazi Germany perpertrated as a heralded "first" in society is simply deranged.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thanks to all veterans!

Their Finest Hour extends our sincere gratitude to all Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen past who sacrificed their youth, their strength, and in many cases their bodies or lives to preserve our Nation!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy Birthday USMC!

For 233 years, America's Marines:

From the halls of Montezuma,
To the shores of Tripoli
We fight our country's battles
In the air, on land, and sea
First to fight for right and freedom
And to keep our honor clean
We are proud to claim the title
Of United States Marine.

Our flag's unfurled to every breeze
From the dawn to setting sun
We have fought in every clime and place
Where we could take a gun
In the snow of far-off northern lands
And in sunny tropic scenes
You will find us always on the job
The United States Marines.

Here's health to you and to our Corps
Which we are proud to serve
In many a strife we've fought for life
And have never lost our nerve
If the Army and the Navy
Ever look on Heaven's scenes
They will find the streets are guarded by
The United States Marines.

Thanks to all members of the United States Marine Corps, past and present, for their courage, service, and sacrifices in defense of our great Nation!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

The Fallacy of the Middle of the Road

Ann Althouse hits the nail on the head. This is a great analysis from the mind on one voter that sums up exactly why John McCain's strategy of playing to the middle lost him the election.

Friday, November 07, 2008

In Memoriam: Marty Kenney

If you've ever listened to the Sean Hannity Show, you've heard the caller "Marty". This WWII and D-Day veteran passed away this week. Be sure to check out the tribute on Sean's site, and make sure you listen to the audio too!

His obituary can be found here. May God bring comfort to the family's grief.

Martin E. Kenney, Sr. - you were a great American!

Welcome back, Bishop Bob

The Right Reverend Robert William Duncan has been elected as the 8th Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh (Southern Cone) by today's special Diocesan Convention, having been previously deposed as the 7th Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh (Episcopal Church USA) by the forces of revisionism.

Welcome back! As ever, you and Nara are in my prayers!

TFH 11/7: Sergeant Herbert Joseph Thomas, USMCR

From Medal of Honor Citations for World War II:


Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. Born: 8 February 1918, Columbus, Ohio. Accredited to: West Virginia. Citation: For extraordinary heroism and conspicuous gallantry above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the 3d Marines, 3d Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces during the battle at the Koromokina River, Bougainville Islands, Solomon Islands, on 7 November 1943. Although several of his men were struck by enemy bullets as he led his squad through dense jungle undergrowth in the face of severe hostile machinegun fire, Sgt. Thomas and his group fearlessly pressed forward into the center of the Japanese position and destroyed the crews of 2 machineguns by accurate rifle fire and grenades. Discovering a third gun more difficult to approach, he carefully placed his men closely around him in strategic positions from which they were to charge after he had thrown a grenade into the emplacement. When the grenade struck vines and fell back into the midst of the group, Sgt. Thomas deliberately flung himself upon it to smother the explosion, valiantly sacrificing his life for his comrades. Inspired by his selfless action, his men unhesitatingly charged the enemy machinegun and, with fierce determination, killed the crew and several other nearby-defenders. The splendid initiative and extremely heroic conduct of Sgt. Thomas in carrying out his prompt decision with full knowledge of his fate reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

Sergeant Thomas, thank you for your courage, leadership, and sacrifice in the defense of our Nation and Freedom. November 7, 1943 was your finest hour!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

TFH 11/6: Second Lieutenant Robert Dale Reem, USMC

Back to our regularly scheduled programming, a tale of heroism found in Medal of Honor Citations for the Korean War:


Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps, Company H, 3d Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division (Rein.). Place and date: Vicinity Chinhung-ni, Korea, 6 November 1950. Entered service at: Elizabethtown, Pa. Born: 20 October 1925, Lancaster, Pa. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as a platoon commander in Company H, in action against enemy aggressor forces. Grimly determined to dislodge a group of heavy enemy infantry units occupying well-concealed and strongly fortified positions on commanding ground overlooking unprotected terrain. 2d Lt. Reem moved slowly forward up the side of the ridge with his platoon in the face of a veritable hail of shattering hostile machine gun, grenade, and rifle fire. Three times repulsed by a resolute enemy force in achieving his objective, and pinned down by the continuing fury of hostile fire, he rallied and regrouped the heroic men in his depleted and disorganized platoon in preparation for a fourth attack. Issuing last-minute orders to his noncommissioned officers when an enemy grenade landed in a depression of the rocky ground in which the group was standing, 2d Lt. Reem unhesitatingly chose to sacrifice himself and, springing upon the deadly missile, absorbed the full impact of the explosion in his body, thus protecting others from serious injury and possible death. Stouthearted and indomitable, he readily yielded his own chance of survival that his subordinate leaders might live to carry on the fight against a fanatic enemy. His superb courage, cool decisiveness, and valiant spirit of self-sacrifice in the face of certain death reflect the highest credit upon 2d Lt. Reem and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

Lieutenant Reem, thank you for your service, courage and sacrifice for our Nation in the face of the Communist enemies of Liberty. November 6, 195o was your finest hour!

Read more about this great American at Wikipedia.

Final Thoughts on the Election


I really thought we'd pull PA out, even with the registration disadvantage. Since I spent Election Day as a poll watcher/striker I have some insights on turnout - and I was stationed in a majority Republican district. I'm going to be real curious as to what the final turnout numbers are when the canvassing reports are released. I was absolutely shocked that there was no late-day rush in either of the precincts in the polling place I was present at. I know that the turnout at mid-day in my own precinct was way up, but I don't know how it closed. Republicans and conservatives came out, but unfortunately it looks like a lot of people sat out, or voted for the other side or a third-party in protest.

I'd really like to know what the McCain and Republican internal polls were actually telling them. It's a somewhat accepted fact that campaigns don't lie to themselves, because they can't. Clearly the race didn't tighten as much as they had thought or hoped. I was really surprised that Bill Russell lost to Jack Murtha so badly also.

Sarah Palin

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: the only reason I was excited about the McCain Campaign, the only reason I put up a McCain yard sign and stuck a sticker on my car, and the only reason I volunteered the time I did to the campaign was Sarah Palin's presence on the ticket.

I have no time whatsoever for the folks purportedly on our own side who have done and are still doing nothing but dump on this rising conservative star.

Had Sarah Palin not been on the ticket, McCain would have lost by 20% at least since a lot more folks would have sat out or voted for the other side in spite.

It is abundantly clear now that McCain's only point in selecting Governor Palin was to throw a little bone to folks like myself. The campaign mishandled, mispresented, and misused her from the very first day.

Exit Polls

I've chewed through some of the exit polling data, and frankly, it presents a real mixed bag of results. Here are some of the highlights I've found in CNN's national exit poll:

39% identified as Democrat, voted 89%/10% for Obama
32% identified as Republican, voted 90%/9% for McCain
29% identified as Independent, voted 52%/44% for Obama

Both candidates retained about the same percentage of their self-identified voters, so that's a wash. There's no argument that certainly Obama's campaign was more uplifting and inspiring in its rhetoric than McCain's - and that's where "independents" broke. This is further borne out further by the next set of responses.

22% identified as Liberal, voted 89%/10% for Obama
44% identified as Moderate, voted 60%/39% for Obama
34% identified as Conservative, voted 78%/20% for McCain

Here is where John McCain absolutely lost the election. Twenty percent of his base voted for Obama. The good news is that voters not in the vast middle still identify as conservative by a 1.5:1 margin. The McCain strategy to play to the vast middle by being the "I'm not as liberal" candidate failed absolutely. I am convinced that self-described "moderates" do not base their voting decisions on actual positions and issues; they base almost entirely on the presentation of those positions and issues and the feelings of confidence that the presentation generates. McCain didn't - make that, couldn't - inspire voters because he did not present a valid alternative on the issues until too late in the campaign, and then was simply not dynamic enough to drive his points home. McCain's plays for the center turned off conservatives completely until the nomination of Sarah Palin and he couldn't sell the differences between himself and Obama because, at least rhetorically, they weren't significantly differentiable.

17% of folks who said they voted for Bush/Cheney in 2004 said they voted for Obama. Not a surprise based on the previously cited data and the overall drop in popular vote count that McCain suffered vs. 2004.

67% surveyed support more off-shore drilling for energy, and they broke 59%/39% for McCain. Energy policy will make or break the early months of Obama's Presidency.

74% surveyed said Supreme Court appointments (and by extension other judicial appointments) were a decision factor, and those voters broke 53%/45% for Obama. This is very, very troubling. Paramount in the new Conservative movement will be to push home at every opportunity that laws must be made by the people's elected representatives and not dictated by jurists.

71% said that taxes would go up under an Obama presidency, regardless of income bracket. So much for people thinking that only the "rich" are going to face higher taxes. These voters broke 55%/43% for McCain.

93% responded that the economy is either "not good" or "poor" - 55%/44% for Obama. The same sample returned 23% who said that the economy will be worse in a year, and they went 54%/43% for McCain. This does not compute logically. If the economy isn't good now, and is going to be either the same (still bad - 25% response, 52%/46% Obama) and McCain has the best policies to handle a worse economy, how does it work out that Obama's policies work in a still suffering one? This, I think, goes directly to the inspiration factor I previously described - content didn't matter.

The inspiration gap is verified again by this last data set that I'll discuss; which candidate quality matters most:

30% said "Shares my values", voted 65%/32% for McCain
34% said "Can bring change", voted 89%/9% for Obama
20% said "Experience", voted 93%/7% for McCain
12% said "Cares about people", voted 74%/24% for Obama

When Obama voters are asked why they voted that way a common answer is, "He'll bring change." When asked "what change?", the same voters mostly can't qualify their desire for change or specify what should change. Voting for a liberal candidate is based solely on emotion for all but the die-hard supporters. More folks said that values and experience said were the most important qualities than change and caring, but yet Obama won. It's all about the presentation and delivery.


In the end, I believe that Barack Obama will be our 44th President on force of personality, not ideas. An honest debate on the issue was never had because conservatism wasn't on the ballot and was never a hallmark of the McCain campaign. The American electorate was presented with a choice of a dynamic candidate and a boring one. Since there was not a clear, black-and-white differentiation of philosophies and policies (and even if there had been, McCain probably was incapable of delivering it), the electorate went with the candidate who inspired.

The 2006 mid-term and 2008 general election results are George W. Bush's legacy. The loss of the Presidency and dwindling representation in the Congress can be laid squarely and fairly on his plate. This isn't the time for the post-mortem on our 43rd President - that will come on January 20, 2009 - but suffice to say for now that, "This is Bush's fault."

May God guide and strengthen our President-elect and may He continue to bless the United States of America.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

More Election Quick Thoughts

I'm still digesting yesterday's general election. A full post-mortem will come tomorrow, but I do have some additional reflections:

1) According to FOX News as of 4:15 PM ET, Barack Obama has been credited with 63,562,802 popular votes. That is only 1,522,192 votes greater than the 62,040,610 popular votes President Bush amassed in 2004 - just a 2.45 percent increase for the winner. John McCain received 59,028,044 popular votes; this is a loss of 3,012,166/4.9% from Bush '04, but 2,832,022 votes more than John Kerry received in 2004 (a gain of 5% for the loser). Votes from last night are still being counted and canvassed, but clearly the electorate is still deeply divided, and there is hope in the numbers for our side in the future.

2) I wish our new President-elect well and my prayers will be for him and our Nation. I want the United States of America to be prosperous and successful. Now that the campaign is over, I will be dropping my partisan rhetoric of naming Senator Obama the "New Soviet Man" and hope he is sincere when he said last night, "And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn, I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices. I need your help. And I will be your president, too." I have very, very grave doubts that Barack Obama will do anything though than govern from the far left.

3) Jason Altmire will be continuing as the Congressman from my district in Western Pennsylvania. The first occasion I had to be spurred to contact him on an issue was on the financial system bailout. I expressed my opinion as a constituent repeatedly to Mr. Altmire that the bailout was a raw deal, and on the force of my and other constituents' input, he did vote against the bill. I'm not going to let Mr. Altmire off the hook during the 111th Congress. He's going to be hearing from me regularly.

4) I could have done more in the way of volunteering to support the McCain/Palin campaign and other Republican candidates. I should have done more. We need to renew the Conservative movement, and I fully expect there's going to be an ideological war within the Republican Party. I'm not going to stand on the sidelines until 2010, 2012, or beyond. My involvement in the grass roots to shape the future of Conservatism starts today.

Today is a bright day in the "Shining City on a Hill" that is the United States of America. I am as positive about and convinced of the correctness of the Conservative beliefs and principles I cherish today as yesterday. As Sean Hannity says, "Let not your heart be troubled."

And I won't.

(UPDATE 11/6: Corrected some of my numbers and math in point (1) - couldn't read my own quick chicken scratch where I didn't label columns)

A Master of the Techno-Thriller has passed

Author Michael Crichton has passed away unexpectedly. According to the linked report from FOX News, he privately had been battling cancer.

Crichton was 66. More at his official web site.

I have enjoyed immensely everything he has written, and will mourn his loss. My prayers and condolences go out to his family.

May he rest in peace.

The big OUCH!

Martin Brodeur is going to miss 3-4 months with an elbow injury. That's going to hurt my Devils real bad...

Congratulations to the Victors

History has been made, and Barack Obama will be the 44th President of the United States. I am proud that our Nation has seen fit to elect a non-white to the office; I just wish the first non-white hadn't been a Marxist.

I'll be writing a longer election post-mortem later. There are some quick hit things though that this morning, I'm glad about:

1) I got to bed at a decent hour. Had McCain won, I probably would have been watching the coverage all night as a gloat fest.

2) Looks like the GOP will retain at least 41 Senate seats. Unfortunately, some of those are clearly RINO, so filibusters as a safety valve isn't a given.

3) Hopefully this will allow us to start cleaning out the forces in the Republican Party who think tacking left is the way to victory. Pandering to moderates and independents lost the election.

However, my last words on the election will be "It was Bush's fault", and I'm going to mean it. Barack Obama is the legacy of George W. Bush - a President who has been right on so many issues, but who has failed so dismally.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

2:20 to go!

PA polls close in about 2:20...get out and VOTE!

A judge in VA has ruled in favor of McCain to count late arriving military ballots. Oooorah!

Slow and steady with building turnout...waiting on the end of work day flurry...

Election update 1404

Just saw a mother and her two special needs children - a beautiful young woman with cerebal palsy and her autistic son - come in to vote. They hopefully are Sarah Palin (and Trig) fans! I said a brief silent prayer for these two youths and their parents; may His light and comfort ever strengthen and sustain this family.

Every life is precious and must - must - be protected and valued!

Saw another pretty young woman (13 or 14 I'd say) wearing a nice McCain/Palin t-shirt as she watched her mom vote. I heard her tell her mom, "I want to push the button for Sarah!" 'Course, if this was ACORN land, she'd be on the voter rolls herself. There may be a youth movement for the New Soviet Man somewhere, but it hasn't corrupted our children in this neck of the woods.

Turnout in the Pittsburgh North Hills is enormous. I was #532 through my polling place at noon; the local folks are predicting 85-90% turnout in a heavily Republican area.

I'm kind of in a news vacuum, but things are looking good here...

Poll Watching Live Blog - 1011

Pace has slowed a bit...spied a local VIP though. WPXI-TV newswoman Peggy Finnegan came in to vote with her daughter along for the experience. Recognized her right away; do have to say though that she looks better in person than on TV...

Poll Watch Live Blog 0846

Turnout so far in the Pittsburgh North Hills is high. Hopefully a good sign.

Polling has been completely above board so far...

E - 1:30:00

Polls open in Pennsylvania at 0700.

Heading out the door to go ACORN hunting in about 10 minutes...

Monday, November 03, 2008

Why I am a Conservative

I was born into and raised in a Democrat household. Supporting Democratic candidates and their positions was all I knew until my early twenties. Even though I wasn't quite old enough to vote, I helped campaign for Michael Dukakis in 1988 (as an aside, if we fast forwarded 20 years then, I'm sure the Democrats and their ACORN co-conspirators would have been happy to have me vote). And yes, I voted for Bill Clinton in 1992 - a short-sighted decision that I will rue until the day I die.

To give you an idea of what I'm talking about, I remember very vividly coming home from school on March 30, 1981 - the day President Reagan was shot. I was not quite ten years old yet. I remember wondering why my mother was so upset, since I knew full well how much she hated Ronald Reagan. I may even have asked her why she wasn't happy about's a little foggy on that point.

So, what changed? I can point to one single occurrence that changed my point of view forever, and it happened in January or February of 1995. One night after work at my salaried, but gross of about $10/hour, job I went to buy groceries. I'm sure my load of food consisted of hot dogs, ramen noodles, and macaroni and cheese mix, since I couldn't afford much else. The man in the checkout line in front of me opened his wallet to pay, and I saw a bankroll that I could only dream about - a wad of Ben Franklins that was easily 3/8 of an inch thick. How did this individual pay for his purchases? With USDA food stamps. I saw this individual leave the parking lot in a luxury car; memory has it as an Infiniti, but it could have been a Lexus or one of the others. I trudged off through the sleet and snow to the bus stop.

Now, I'm conjecturing a little bit, but the conclusion I drew at that point was the individual I observed probably obtained those food stamps in exchange for a product or products that wouldn't exactly have qualified as food. Either that, or he was committing out-and-out fraud.

In any case, this really irritated me. I couldn't have gotten food stamps to feed myself; I know, because I inquired one desperate moment when I was dead broke not six weeks before. I saw the whole system then as broken, and I realized that with my votes I had sustained the whole house of cards.

This was also the opening days of the 104th Congress and the Contract With America. Back in November, 1994 I recall my then dismay at the Republicans' sweeping victory - but now I took another look. What did I find? Ten proposals for legislation that I agreed with.

Then I did something I'm not certain I had done since I first had to in high school: I read the Constitution of the United States of America. Two things stood out to me above all, and they were the text of the Ninth and Tenth Amendments:

Amendment IX
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited to it by the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Why these two parts? In the case of the Ninth Amendment, one of the "regulars" at the bar I spent too much time at (yeah, I was a "regular" too) often griped about how he couldn't work unless it was through his union. By all means, labor unions have the right to organize based on the free association rights guaranteed by the First Amendment ("right of the people peaceably to assemble"); but doesn't the Ninth Amendment guarantee one's ability to exercise a right to free disassociation?

In the case of the Tenth Amendment, I went back through the Constitution and counted. I found that (I admit I just now recounted) that there are only forty-six specific powers ceded by the States and people to the Congress and the United States. None of which, by the way, could be construed to include the aformentioned food stamps. The rest of the Constitution enumerates what our government can not do.

Now, I know the Left loves the text of Article I, Section 8, Clause 1 that reads, "provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States" - and believes that this gives the Congress an omnibus writ to do basically whatever they want. If that's the case though, then why do the texts of the 13th, 15th, 18th (since repealed), 19th, 23rd, and 24th Amendments include provisions that "Congress shall have power" to enforce said amendments with legislation?

I then also came to realize that the Constitution's framers got it right the first time; the 17th Amendment served only to weaken the 10th Amendment by removing the representation of the States from the Federal Government and over representing the people.

What came next? Well, I got myself a paperback copy of The Federalist Papers and read the whole background behind the framing of the Constitution (time well spent riding the bus) - and became even more dismayed and incensed at how far our Nation has decended from what the Founding Fathers intended.

I realized the fallacy of liberal philosophies and policies. I quickly began to rip apart in my mind all of the supposed reasons for believing in liberal policies and exposed them in my mind for the lies and falsehoods they are. I rejected the very premises of them. I realized that the heart of Liberalism is intellectual dishonesty.

Well, then I looked at my paycheck and for the first time I really asked myself a question that I know many have: Who the hell is FICA, and why do they have all of my money?

I realized then that if my taxes were halved (yes, earning $20,000 a year gross meant at the time that I shelled out about 30 percent of my income to the government, including state and local taxes), I wouldn't be riding the bus anymore; I'd be able to afford a beater used car.

And then, yes, I started listening to talk radio. First was Fred Honsberger on KDKA - my shift started at 3:00 PM when he came on the air. I graduated from there to Rush Limbaugh - who I had previously had nothing but disdain for, even though I had never listened to him or read anything he had written. What I heard was everything I was feeling. What I heard was everything I knew now to be the truth about the United States and the freedom, liberty, and opportunity handed down from our forefathers.

We're now up to March or April of 1995. The last phase of my transition from unthinking, lemming Democrat to Conservative came in two parts. The first was when I sent an e-mail to Fred Honsberger (as I remember, the topic was reverse racism) which he read on the air. The second was I changed my residency to Pennsylvania, and registered to vote as a Republican.

In 1996, I supported Steve Forbes in the Presidential primary. I voted for Dole/Kemp that year for President. I proudly voted for George W. Bush both in 2000 and 2004 (I'm pretty sure I voted for McCain in the '00 Primary, but don't remember for certain). I wrote in Louisiana Republican Governor Bobby Jindal in this year's primary, and while he's not the pure Conservative I'd hope for, I'll be voting for John McCain tomorrow, and working as a poll inspector to try and help assure that this election isn't stolen by the forces who do and will trample our Constitution.

In the end, the answer to the question "why am I a Conservative?" is simply:

I can see, I can read, and I can think.

Hear it from the Governator!

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) gave what is perhaps the best stump speech I've listened to in favor of John McCain and Sarah Palin Friday in Columbus, OH.

Arnold understands the American Dream and the endless opportunities offered by our great Nation because he has lived it.

The money quotes:

John McCain has served this country longer in a POW camp than his opponent has served in the United States Senate.

I only play an action hero in my movies, but John McCain is a real action hero.

I left Europe four decades ago because socialism has killed opportunities there...I am so fortunate that I had the chance of coming to the greatest country in the world: the United States of America!

Attention UMWA Members: Barack Obama is NOT your ally

Forget the Mine Workers, the New Soviet Man is not a friend of the United States.

From the great folks at HotAir: a rundown of how Barack Obama wants to bankrupt (Barack Obama's own words!) the coal industry and energy industries that utilize coal. (Earlier article from HotAir also)

Our economy can not expand and flourish - much less survive - without cheap, accessible sources of energy. We need all energy sources to be developed: coal, nuclear, natural gas, geothermal, solar, wind, etc. - all of them.

A direct quote from Barack Obama: Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.

Look at your electric bill. Now, imagine it with charges that are double, triple, or quadruple. Are you looking forward to that? What will you have to give up if your electric bill is that large? Think about it long and hard, because that is the America that Barack Obama wants. He wants an energy-starved America that can not meet the basic needs of its own citizens.

Should the American people be hoodwinked and elect this man tomorrow, the end of the United States of America's prominence will assuredly follow.

I am convinced that Barack Obama is bent on the destruction of the United States, the ruination of our economy, the subversion of our Constitution, and is anathema to every value that this great Nation has stood for over the last 232 years.

E -24:00:00

Polls open in Pennsylvania in twenty-four hours! Polls close in Pennsylvania in thirty-five hours! Vote tomorrow, and vote correctly!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Why I believe John McCain should be the 44th President

I believe that our Constitution, as amended, is still in some ways imperfect but is superior to any societal blueprint elsewhere. We must have no doubt that whomever will be sworn to "preserve, protect, and defend" our Constitution will truthfully and faithfully do so. They must appoint federal judges and Supreme Court Justices who will interpret our laws and Constitution, not rewrite, invent, or reinvent them according to their own philosophies. Writing law must be left to our elected representatives, not imposed by judicial fiat.

I believe that the United States should be energy independent. We must develop our own energy resources - coal, solar, oil, natural gas, wind, water, tidal, geothermal, nuclear - everything. We have thrown up too many regulatory and legal restrictions in the way of sound utilization of our natural resources. Our economy can not grow without plentiful, unrestricted sources of energy.

Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence that we have "certain unalienable rights", the first - and therefore most important - listed was life. Since 1973, over 40 million human lives have been ended via abortion in this country. To put that tragic count in perspective, a nation state of 40 million souls would be the 32nd largest country on Earth, right in between Argentina and Sudan. In the last 35 years, we have lost millions who could have become doctors, nurses, teachers, police officers, soldiers, firefighters - or mechanics, construction workers, computer programmers, etc., etc., etc.; most of them simply for reasons of convenience. This is a holocaust of unimaginable loss, and I fear, unrecoverable cost. There is no life unplanned by God; if we do not defend the defenseless, then what worth are we?

Taxes are too high. Our economy will continue to hemorrhage jobs and our industries will continue to diminish and perish unless we reduce - or better still - eliminate corporate taxes and let the ingenuity of the American entrepreneur flourish and thrive without crippling oversight and regulations from a government that has no idea how to produce, only consume. Economics is not a zero-sum game; new wealth will always be created, and government must not stand in the way.

I believe that if not for the United States of America, there would be no freedom and liberty in the world today. It was President John F. Kennedy who would have said, "If we are strong, our strength will speak for itself. If we are weak, words will be of no help." We must continue to combat tyranny around the world, with diplomacy first, but must always be ready to use our military might if necessary. Our exit strategy for the War on Terror's two fronts should be victory, not negotiation or compromise. Our enemies should never doubt that conflict with the United States of America can have only two possible outcomes: their unconditional surrender or their total annihilation.

Most of all, I believe in American Exceptionalism. I have never had to search for a reason to be proud of my country. I see American greatness every day. We became the first colonies to break away from their European parent because we no longer wanted to be Europeans, and we have no desire to be like Europe today. This is the greatest Nation on the earth - yesterday, today, and hopefully forever more - and our President should never be a man who thinks the United States of America is not the "shining city on a hill."

Nearly forty years ago on July 20, 1969 the United States of America put two of our own on the Earth's Moon - arguably the greatest achievement in all of human history. Forty years on, and all the other nations of the world have yet to equal the United States of America. Forty years hence, let us hope that we have not been equaled or God forbid, surpassed.

On July 20, 1969 while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were taking their historic Moon walk, an American Naval Aviator was suffering unimaginable torture at the hands of the Communist enemies of the United States. That man never lost faith in his comrades or his Nation. He was coming up on just the end of his second year in enemy hands, the second of five and a half years of brutal captivity. That man was John McCain.

John McCain would not have been my first choice as my candidate for President. I disagree with him on many policy areas. That aside, on all of the above issues I have listed Senator McCain is the clear choice. He has the experience, independence, and integrity to lead this great Nation forward. He will not let our national security be dictated by foreign powers. He will honor and defend our freedoms and Constitution. He will reduce taxes, and get our economy moving without the encumbrance of an ever-growing government weighing it down.

Finally, I believe that John McCain should be elected for one more reason. I believe that one of our Nation's darkest black marks is the absolute contempt that returning Vietnam Veterans were received with. Tens of thousands of Americans served in that war with honor and over 58,000 gave their lives. We should be grateful for the services and sacrifices of the Vietnam generation, and they deserve to have one of their honorable own be the President.

Heading for the front lines on 11/4

Governor Linda Lingle (R-HI) rallys the troops at the Pittsburgh North Hills Victory Office
Sunday, November 2, 2008
ATTENTION ACORN! I'm going to be a poll watcher on Tuesday, and I'll be looking out for your "voters". We received our marching orders and assignments tonight at the Pittsburgh North Hills Victory Office and got a great pep talk from a real VIP, Linda Lingle, the Republican Governor of Hawai'i.

We can do this. It's up to us. If you're a McCain/Palin supporter, contact your local office. Get out there and go door-to-door or make phone calls. Volunteer for Tuesday. Even if you only have one hour, that hour can make a difference!

As Senator McCain charged, "Stand up and fight!". There is too much riding on this election - for us, our children, and our children's children - to stay on the sidelines.

Friday, October 31, 2008

TFH 10/31: Captain Riley L. Pitts, USA

From Medal of Honor Citations for the Vietnam War, the story of the first African American commissioned officer to earn our Nation's highest recognition for bravery:


Rank and organization: Captain, U.S. Army, Company C, 2d Battalion, 27th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division. Place and date: Ap Dong, Republic of Vietnam, 31 October 1967. Entered service at: Wichita, Kans. Born: 15 October 1937, Fallis, Okla. Citation: Distinguishing himself by exceptional heroism while serving as company commander during an airmobile assault. Immediately after his company landed in the area, several Viet Cong opened fire with automatic weapons. Despite the enemy fire, Capt. Pitts forcefully led an assault which overran the enemy positions. Shortly thereafter, Capt. Pitts was ordered to move his unit to the north to reinforce another company heavily engaged against a strong enemy force. As Capt. Pitts' company moved forward to engage the enemy, intense fire was received from 3 directions, including fire from 4 enemy bunkers, 2 of which were within 15 meters of Capt. Pitts' position. The severity of the incoming fire prevented Capt. Pitts from maneuvering his company. His rifle fire proving ineffective against the enemy due to the dense jungle foliage, he picked up an M-79 grenade launcher and began pinpointing the targets. Seizing a Chinese Communist grenade which had been taken from a captured Viet Cong's web gear, Capt. Pitts lobbed the grenade at a bunker to his front, but it hit the dense jungle foliage and rebounded. Without hesitation, Capt. Pitts threw himself on top of the grenade which, fortunately, failed to explode. Capt. Pitts then directed the repositioning of the company to permit friendly artillery to be fired. Upon completion of the artillery fire mission, Capt. Pitts again led his men toward the enemy positions, personally killing at least 1 more Viet Cong. The jungle growth still prevented effective fire to be placed on the enemy bunkers. Capt. Pitts, displaying complete disregard for his life and personal safety, quickly moved to a position which permitted him to place effective fire on the enemy. He maintained a continuous fire, pinpointing the enemy's fortified positions, while at the same time directing and urging his men forward, until he was mortally wounded. Capt. Pitts' conspicuous gallantry, extraordinary heroism, and intrepidity at the cost of his life, above and beyond the call of duty, are in the highest traditions of the U.S. Army and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the Armed Forces of his country.

According to Wikipedia, Riley Pitts' son Mark is active with Sons and Daughters in Touch - a fine organization dedicated to the memory and honor of the 58,000-plus American heroes who gave their lives in Vietnam.

Captain Pitts, thank you for your service, courage, and sacrifice in the face of the enemies of Freedom. I honor you and I am forever greatful. October 31, 1967 was your finest hour!

Assignment for the day - Common Sense

Thomas Paine's words contained in Common Sense of January 10, 1776 are just as applicable today as they were then. Simply substitue "Congress" or "Democrats" for "Parliament" and "Barack Obama" for "King" and you'll see what I mean. For example:

But as the same constitution which gives the commons a power to check the
king by withholding the supplies, gives afterwards the king a power to check the
commons, by empowering him to reject their other bills; it again supposes that
the king is wiser than those whom it has already supposed to be wiser than him.
A mere absurdity!

Yup, that fits the New Soviet Man's "negative liberties" belief system to a "T".

Read the whole thing.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

How did this story make it past an editor?

Don't get me wrong - I'm pleased this story got past an editor at the Associated Press. I hope it gets read and talked about again, and again, and again. Exact headline (click for story):

Obama's prime-time ad skips over budget realities

Sounds like the New Soviet Man's infomercial wasn't as successful as they'd have hoped. The first paragraph of the story is simply incredible by the simple fact it appeared:

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama was less than upfront in his half-hour commercial Wednesday night about the costs of his programs and the crushing budget pressures he would face in office.

WOW! Could it be...the truth?

The author of this article is Calvin Woodward. Mr. Woodward, thank you for your factual examination of the fantasies that are Barack Obama's policies and proposals. You might just be the only AP reporter to be critical of the most left-wing and inexperienced candidate for President ever.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Judicial Lunacy

This is an exact headline from The Columbus Dispatch:

"Judge rules Ohio homeless voters may list park benches as addresses"


The U.S. district court judge that made the ruling - Edmund A. Sargus, Jr. - was appointed to the court by President Bill Clinton in 1996. Surprise, surprise.

Hat tip: Drudge

In Memoriam: Kirk Jacobs

Twenty years ago tonight, one of my high school classmates and good friend was killed in a car accident. My prayers today go out to the family of Kirk Jacobs and to my other friend who was driving that night; thankfully, he was relatively uninjured. I'm sure their grief still knows no bounds.

My life changed forever on Friday, October 28, 1988. That was the day I think I lost all of my youthful invincibility. I remember going to the funeral home the following Sunday night, and being closer emotionally to some of my classmates than I ever had been before.

School on Monday was a surreal experience. I unknowingly broke the news of Kirk's death to one of my friends, the first time I had to tell another person that one among us had passed. I'll never forget how our math teacher, Mr. Rodriguez - Kirk was in my class - just couldn't go on that day. When the teacher lost it, I don't think any of us in the classroom knew how to handle it.

I remember the shock and grief expressed by the principal of Bernards High School; in all his years, this was the first time he'd lost a student.

The Bernards High School Class of 1989, myself included, was forever going to be one classmate short.

I hadn't come to the Lord then, but I do remember that I was able to scribble a Bible verse - one of the few I knew at the time - in the memory book at the funeral home, so I'll close with what I wrote then, Ecclesiastes 11:9 (NIV):

Be happy, young man, while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth.

I miss you Kirk. I'm blessed to have known you for the time we were given.

Monday, October 27, 2008

New Voters - Not as Democratic as you might think

We've all heard how The New Soviet Man's electoral fraud machine has registered record numbers of first-time, young voters. We heard the same thing back in 2004 - there was going to be record numbers of first-time, young voters and they were going to vote en masse for John Kerry. Well, did they? Let's run the numbers, popular votes only:

2000 Presidential Election Stats:
Bush (R): 50,456,002 - 47.87%
Gore (D): 50,999,897 - 48.38%
Nader (G): 2,882,955 - 2.74%
Fringes: 1,066,246 - 1.01%
Total Electorate: 105,405,100

2004 Presidential Election Stats:
Bush (R): 62,040,610 - 50.74%, +11,584,608 from '00
Kerry (D): 59,028,444 - 48.28%, +8,028,547 from '00
Fringes: 1,198,499 - 0.98%, essentially unchanged from '00
Total Electorate: 122,267,553

The difference in the total size of the electorate between 2000 and 2004 is 16,862,453; that many more people voted in 2004 than 2000.

Now, let's assume that had Ralph Nader not run on the Green Party ticket in 2000, all 2,882,955 of his voters would have voted for the Democratic slate of Al Gore and Joe Liberman (unlikely, since some would have gone off to fringe candidates, but is probably pretty close to reality). As a percentage of the electorate, fringe candidates were essentially unchanged in percentage of votes, so we can discount them for figuring out how the electorate actually changed in the four years from 2000 to 2004.

When you account for Nader's 2000 votes going to Kerry in 2004 - and also assuming that everybody who voted for Bush voted for him again, and everybody who voted for Gore did so for Kerry (probably pretty close; any side-to-side shifts probably would cancel out) - this is what the net change, Republican vs. Democrat, for the 2004 election looked like:

Bush (R): +11,584,608 votes
Kerry (D): +5,145,592 votes

That totals to 16,730,200 more people who voted Republican or Democrat more than who voted Republican or Democrat (plus Green) in 2000. If you recall from above, the total change in the size of the electorate was 16,862,453 - essentially the same number as those who increased the vote totals of Republicans and Democrats. (The difference in "fringe" voting between the two years is identical to the 132,253 voter count differential between D+R in 00-04 vs. the electorate count in 00-04).

So, 16,730,200 more people voted for either George W. Bush or John Kerry in 2004 than voted for the corresponding tickets in 2000. Now, were all of those "new" voters? Considering that the total electorate size in 1992 was 104,423,923 (-981,177 vs. 2000, -17,843,630 vs. 2004) and just 96,277,634 in 1996 (-9,127,466 vs 2000, -25,989,919 vs. 2004), for the purposes of this excercise I think it's safe to say that the net effect is that all of the 16,730,200 new Democrat or Republican voters in 2004 did not vote in 2000, 1996, or 1992.

Now, if you've haven't been calculating this in your head, here's how this works out:

Percentage of "new" voters who voted for John Kerry in 2004: 30.76%
Percentage of "new" voters who voted for George Bush in 2004: 69.24%

In other words, "new" voters to the electorate voted for George W. Bush in 2004 by a 2.25-to-1 margin.

I think it's dangerous to assume that "new" voters are automatically liberals, regardless of who the candidate is. I'm sure that that type of electorate assumption is skewing some of the polls dramatically.

As Sean Hannity would say, "Let not your heart be troubled" - unless you're an Obama supporter, that is.

All of us Republicans and conservatives MUST get out and vote.

Eight days to go...

Liberal tolerance...

...or not. Just when the Left has disgusted me fully, they find additional and unsurprising ways to do more. Can you imagine the outcry - justifiable I might add - if the other side was depicted as such?

The Real Barack Obama

In his own words, here is Barack Obama in 2001:

His words, directly quoted:
To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as its been interpreted and Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the Federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf, and that hasn’t shifted and one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was, um, because the civil rights movement became so court focused I think there was a tendancy to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive

This is frightening. The New Soviet Man is saying that the courts have a right, a responsibility even, to ignore the Constitution of the United States when its "essential constraints" forbid them from imposing his agenda and world view.

Negative liberties? Of course the Constitution controls what the government can't do. An unchecked, omnipresent, unrestrained government is tyrrany, which by the way is why our forefathers fought a revolution to break away from they tyrrany of the Crown.

At the same time, the Constitution guarantees what the people can do. We can redress our government for grievances - kiss that one goodbye under Chairman Obama. Our speech and the press is free - kiss that one goodbye when the Fairness Doctrine is reimposed. Forget about the 9th and 10th Amendments too. Our last line of defense against tyranny - the 2nd Amendment - will assuredly be trashed.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Should the American people risk our republic by electing this man next Tuesday, on January 20, 2009 when Barack Obama raises his right hand and is administered the following oath by Chief Justice John Roberts:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of
President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve,
protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Every word out of his mouth - every word - will be a lie. This man hates our Constitution. This man hates our Nation. This man hates everything that the United States of America stands for.

More at: Michelle Malkin, HotAir

UPDATE @ 1231: Fox News has picked up the story.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

McCain & Palin, or is it actually McCain vs. Palin?

This report from CNN comes as no surprise - as the race tightens in the final days, it's exactly the type of hit piece you'd expect from the left-leaning media. However in this case, the core point of the article might actually be accurate.

It wouldn't surprise me a bit if some core McCainites are at odds with Sarah Palin. They were probably as unprepared as the media was for McCain to select her, and have probably been second-guessing their own candidate ever since. Given that McCain's closest advisors are no doubt of similar attitudes to their man, it follows clearly that they'd be naturally offended by Sarah Palin's unabashed and unwavering conservatism.

Frankly, the selection of Sarah is one of the more mystifying events we've seen - not that she was by any means the wrong choice, as I absolutely believe the pick was brilliant. Most everything McCain has done since has been to give away or surrender whatever advantage he's managed to build.

McCain should be up by twenty points right now - combine the enthusiasm Sarah Palin added to the campaign (the only reason there's a McCain/Palin sign in my yard and bumper sticker on my truck is the bottom half) from conservatives dissatisfied with McCain with the bar-none winning positions of national security and energy independence, and the fact that we're running against an out and out Marxist (which can be proved and documented) - and it shouldn't even be close.

Sarah Palin ignoring the reins that the McCain folks are supposedly trying to control her with is also the right move, assuming the article is accurate. There's going to be a battle for the soul of the Republican Party, and it's already started. This election is as much about November 4th as it is 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2016.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

We don't feed the trolls

Been getting some comments lately from what I'll call a "typical liberal", that is, a left-wing nut case who leaves the same comments under two IDs. (OMG, I've been "seminar called"!) It comes as no suprise to me that these upstanding folks act completely anonymously and don't have the courage to stand behind their words. So, I'm not posting those comments for that reason, and also because frankly, they're vile.

I will, for example, never accept a comment which denigrates the memory of our fighting men and women of the Armed Forces. Never.

Then there's this tidbit, from a brave soul known only anonymously as "BarackStar":
Obama is training people to vote, it's simple vote Democrat, straight
ticket, no Al Gore moments for the blue hair jews in FLA, or the illiterate
illegal non citizens McCain has let into this country.


I don't care if you disagree ("I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the the death your right to say it"), but with free speech comes responsibility to stand behind one's words.

Pittsburgh: We want NO flights!

Just saw this article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that talks about the increased fees - taxes, that is - that will be imposed on airlines operating out of Pittsburgh International Airport beginning in January.

Southwest Airlines, one of my current favorites, is particularly incensed - as they should be.

Increase in landing fees? 34.8 percent.
Increase in terminal space? 35.9 percent.
Increase in ramp space? 191 percent!

Yes, Allegheny County is sitting on a white elephant - a top of the line hub airport with no hub airline. Yes, there are significant issues surrounding servicing the airport's debt.

Every time I'm at the airport, it is very depressing. The place is an absolute ghost town, even at peak travel times. Clearly though, travel originiating here is strong - the extended parking lot is usually mostly full, anyway.

Here's a suggestion for the powers that be: cut the fees for landing, terminal space, and ramp space, you dolts! Obviously RAISING fees hasn't exactly ATTRACTED airlines here. You want a new airline to take Pittsburgh seriously as a hub location? Make our airport the least expensive for airlines to operate from!

If you lower the fees, more airlines will operate and maybe we'd get a hub back, whether for passengers or cargo. If there are more operations, you'll get more fees. DUH!

Friday, October 24, 2008

TFH 10/24-27: Technical Sergeant Charles H. Coolidge, USA

From Medal of Honor Citations for World War II:


Rank and organization: Technical Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company M, 141st Infantry, 36th Infantry Division. Place and date: East of Belmont sur Buttant, France, 2427 October 1944. Entered service at: Signal Mountain, Tenn. Birth: Signal Mountain, Tenn. G.O. No.: 53, July 1945. Citation: Leading a section of heavy machineguns supported by 1 platoon of Company K, he took a position near Hill 623, east of Belmont sur Buttant, France, on 24 October 1944, with the mission of covering the right flank of the 3d Battalion and supporting its action. T/Sgt. Coolidge went forward with a sergeant of Company K to reconnoiter positions for coordinating the fires of the light and heavy machineguns. They ran into an enemy force in the woods estimated to be an infantry company. T/Sgt. Coolidge, attempting to bluff the Germans by a show of assurance and boldness called upon them to surrender, whereupon the enemy opened fire. With his carbine, T/Sgt. Coolidge wounded 2 of them. There being no officer present with the force, T/Sgt. Coolidge at once assumed command. Many of the men were replacements recently arrived; this was their first experience under fire. T/Sgt. Coolidge, unmindful of the enemy fire delivered at close range, walked along the position, calming and encouraging his men and directing their fire. The attack was thrown back. Through 25 and 26 October the enemy launched repeated attacks against the position of this combat group but each was repulsed due to T/Sgt. Coolidge's able leadership. On 27 October, German infantry, supported by 2 tanks, made a determined attack on the position. The area was swept by enemy small arms, machinegun, and tank fire. T/Sgt. Coolidge armed himself with a bazooka and advanced to within 25 yards of the tanks. His bazooka failed to function and he threw it aside. Securing all the hand grenades he could carry, he crawled forward and inflicted heavy casualties on the advancing enemy. Finally it became apparent that the enemy, in greatly superior force, supported by tanks, would overrun the position. T/Sgt. Coolidge, displaying great coolness and courage, directed and conducted an orderly withdrawal, being himself the last to leave the position. As a result of T/Sgt. Coolidge's heroic and superior leadership, the mission of this combat group was accomplished throughout 4 days of continuous fighting against numerically superior enemy troops in rain and cold and amid dense woods.

According to Wikipedia, this great American Hero is still alive. Mr. Coolidge, should you find your way to my blog, thank you so much for your service, leadership, and courage in defense of our great nation. We - all of humanity - owe a debt to you and your comrades for your sacrifices to the cause of Freedom that our words and deeds can never repay. We can only hope to live up to your collective legacy and example!

Charles Coolidge, October 24-27, 1944 was your finest hour!

Rally Pictures!

Melissa Hart (R) helped warm up the crowd. She is hoping to win back her seat from Jason Altmire. As much as I want Sarah Palin to be our next Vice President, I want Melissa Hart back as my Representative in Congress!

Security was very present. When we went through the metal detectors, I made a point to thank the uniformed members of the United States Secret Service who were manning the screening point. The folks manning the rooftops appeared to be PA State Police SWAT. Thank you to all law enforcement members who keep us and our political office holders and candidates (regardless of party) safe and our Republic sound!

Sarah takes the stage! First dude Todd Palin and daughters Willow and Piper too.

Sarah with Willow and Piper; what a beautiful American family!

Big crowd! The stands on both sides of the field were full, and the field itself was about 75% covered. There was a large section to the rear of folks who weren't allowed to get any closer because the metal detectors (reportedly) had broken down. Best guess on attendance was 4,000 to 5,000.

Straight talk from the future 47th Vice President of the United States of America.

Who's afraid of Sarah Palin?

The left-wing media/entertainment types are, apparently. (Hat tip: Drudge)

Why else would they be trying to get Governor Palin out of politics and on to television? The Left fears this woman, and hates her very existence because she puts the lie to all the liberal assertions of what it means to be a feminist and a woman.

It's surprising that the article suggested a reality show that just follows the Palin family and Sarah as Governor of Alaska. There is no way left-wing media power brokers would ever allow such a program on the air, at least, not in a form or outlet that would enable everybody to see it. The last thing the Left would want is for everybody to see that the Palin family is just like all of ours.

There's another big, big point that this article misses. What makes any of them think that Sarah Palin would actually sign up for it? Don't you all remember her line at the RNC about not going to Washington to seek the media's approval?

Sarah might make TV a career, but it will be after her occupancy of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue - as President, not just VP.

An American Holocaust?

Holocaust doesn't describe this. This is a planned Stalinist Purge of the United States of America, complete with extermination camps and political reeducation.

Sound like Red Dawn? Nope, just what the Weather Underground Terrorists, including Barack Obama supporter and friend Bill Ayers, wanted to do here - to you and your families.

Hat tip: little green footballs

Don't miss Bill Ayers and the Weather Underground's forgotten Communist manifesto either.

Sarah Rocked Last Night!

Sorry folks, couldn't pull off doing any live blog last night from the Sarah Palin rally at Beaver Area High School - we had our hands full chasing the next generation of conservative Americans around the football field.

That aside, I really enjoyed seeing Sarah and "first dude" Todd Palin on stage, along with their daughters Willow and Piper. She delivered her basic stump speech, but tailored for those of us in Western PA.

I loved her "channeling" of Joe Namath - we're the underdogs, the other side has all the stars, but we're going to win and I guarantee it. Well, Broadway Joe delivered and I think John and Sarah will too.

Even more so now that I've seen her in person, I have that true sense that Sarah Palin is "one of us". She certainly isn't a creature of Washington, and I so hope that the American people want Washington to reflect our society as I do, rather than society reflecting our government.

In Sarah and her family, we finally have a middle-class candidate who shares our values and struggles that I know my family deals with daily. There's something to be said for the only candidate in this year's Presidential contest who isn't a multi-millionaire.

Winning PA will be a huge help. Looks likeJohn Murtha may go down too. All of us bitter folks here clinging to our guns and religion will be heard on November 4th.

This election is shaping up to be 1948, plus 60 years, and the sides reversed.

Got pictures, will have them up later.

Idiot of the Day Award

Thanks a lot Santonio, way to be a team player.

Suspension is a must. Whatever the league does to him, the Steelers should do worse.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Faithful Breaking of the Laws

...he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed...
-- U.S. Constitution, Article II, Section 3

Barack Obama's campaign is engaging in blatant violation of election finance laws. He does not belong in the White House; he belongs in an orange jumpsuit.

Should Barack Obama be elected, on January 20th his Oath of Office will be a lie for all to see...

Beirut: 25 Years

Twenty-five years ago today 241 of our Marines and other servicemen were murdered in Beirut. The War on Terror began, but we wouldn't start fighting back in earnest until 2001.

Michelle Malkin has the complete roundup, including the names of the lost.

Thank you to all who gave their lives that day in defense of our Nation. We will never forget your service and sacrifce. My prayers today go out to the survivors and the families who mourn the loss of their loved ones this day.

Dulce et decorum est pro patia mori.

Going to see our Sarah tonight!

I'm taking the wife and kids to see who we hope will be the next Vice President of the United States tonight - Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska! She's the headliner at a rally being held at Beaver Area High School.

Can't wait!!!!!! I'll live blog via mobile as I'm able to and will post pictures tonight.

We so need to win Pennsylvania...

No bones about it, Sarah Palin is the reason I'm excited about this election. Should the McCain/Palin ticket not rise to victory on November 4th, let's start the cheering for:

Palin/Jindal 2012

I'd prefer that ticket even if McCain is our 44th President...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Apollo+40: Welcome Home 7!

Today at 7:11 PM, Apollo 7 with astronauts Wally Schirra, Don Eisele, and Walt Cunningham splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean and was recovered by the USS Essex. Apollo 7, while ground controllers had to deal with a somewhat cantankerous flight crew, was successful in all respects, fully put the Apollo spacecraft through its paces during the 11 flight days, and got the Apollo Program off to a fine flying start.

Commander Wally Schirra, with the success of this flight, was the only American astronaut to fly in all three of our Nation's first space programs: Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo. He retired as an active astronaut after Apollo 7. His crewmates Eisele and Cunningham, somewhat black-listed by the crew's in-flight antics, also never flew in space again.

Regardless, the success of Apollo 7 started the end game of America's journey to the Moon. For Schirra, Eisele, and Cunningham, it was also a finest hour!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

TFH 10/21: PFC Richard G. Wilson, USA

Their Finest Hour has previously honored the courage and sacrifices of those brave members of our Armed Forces whose duty is to save others while they are unable to defend themselves: medics and hospital corpsmen on the battlefield. Here is another such story, found in Medal of Honor Citations for the Korean War.


Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Co. 1, Medical Company, 187th Airborne Infantry Regiment. Place and date: Opari, Korea, 21 October 1950. Entered service at: Cape Girardeau Mo. Born: 19 August 1931, Marion, Ill. G.O. No.: 64, 2 August 1951. Citation: Pfc. Wilson distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action. As medical aid man attached to Company I, he accompanied the unit during a reconnaissance in force through the hilly country near Opari. The main body of the company was passing through a narrow valley flanked on 3 sides by high hills when the enemy laid down a barrage of mortar, automatic-weapons and small-arms fire. The company suffered a large number of casualties from the intense hostile fire while fighting its way out of the ambush. Pfc. Wilson proceeded at once to move among the wounded and administered aid to them oblivious of the danger to himself, constantly exposing himself to hostile fire. The company commander ordered a withdrawal as the enemy threatened to encircle and isolate the company. As his unit withdrew Private Wilson assisted wounded men to safety and assured himself that none were left behind. After the company had pulled back he learned that a comrade previously thought dead had been seen to be moving and attempting to crawl to safety. Despite the protests of his comrades, unarmed and facing a merciless enemy, Pfc. Wilson returned to the dangerous position in search of his comrade. Two days later a patrol found him lying beside the man he returned to aid. He had been shot several times while trying to shield and administer aid to the wounded man. Pfc. Wilson's superb personal bravery, consummate courage and willing self-sacrifice for his comrades reflect untold glory upon himself and uphold the esteemed traditions of the military service.

Richard Wilson, your sacrifice and courage to care for and save the lives of your comrades at complete risk to your own showed that day the best of America. I honor your memory and sacrifice, and I will never forget them. Thank you. October 21, 1950 was your finest hour!

In Defense of Michelle Bachmann

Representative Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) has come under fire for saying on MSNoBamaC that Barack Obama could be considered to be "anti-American" for his associations and potentially his policies. The blowhard host of Hardball, Chris Matthews, pressed the point and, at least in the context of the program, got Representative Bachmann to extend her sentiment to other liberals in the Congress. (See Power Line for details)

She's now backed off the statement a bit. No surprise there, since the party line is "we don't question patriotism, we question judgement."

So, are our Liberal opponents anti-American or just judgementally challenged? Let's let them speak for themselves:

[Our military is] air raiding villages and killing civilians...
-- Senator Barack Obama (D-IL)

I believe ... that this war is lost, and this surge is not accomplishing anything, as is shown by the extreme violence in Iraq this week.
-- Senator Harry Reid (D-NV)

Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood.
-- Representative John Murtha (D-PA), May 17, 2006; the US Marines he accused of murder in the Iraqi town of Haditha were later completely exonerated; Rep. Murtha has yet to apologize.

[In reference to the Iraq surge] The gains have not produced the desired effect, which is the reconciliation of Iraq. This is a failure. This is a failure.
-- Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

This war has been a grotesque mistake that has diminished our reputation in the world and has not made America safer.
-- Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) (this from over 4 years ago BTW, still no attacks on US soil since 9/11)

I believe the president has no strategy for success in Iraq. His plan is to muddle through, and hand the problem off to his successor.
-- Senator Joe Biden (D-DE), April 2008

And I could go on, and on, and on. So, do these and other statements rise to the level of "anti-Americanism"? To quote:

Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.

In case you don't know, that is the text of 18 USC 2381. All of the Left's anti-American, anti-Military statements rise to the level of "aid and comfort" to our enemies - especially when our enemies quote the Democratic Party and its members when they spout off with their own anti-American scree. When you combine that with their willingness to associate and sit on boards with known domestic terrorist murderers like Bill Ayers - self-confessed purveyors and supporters of insurrection and sedition - then this is not a judgement issue.

It is an issue of patriotism, and the seeming way these individuals trample on their oaths to the Constitution of the United States.

There is a very good reason why, when the oath to the Constitution is administered, that it says: "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic."