Saturday, April 26, 2008

Great Performance!

My wife and I were incredibly fortunate to go and see Jesus Christ Superstar last night here in Pittsburgh. Ted Neeley, has he has for many, many years, starred in the role of Jesus. His age shows (as my wife commented, "He looks a bit more like Moses than Jesus") but it certainly hasn't affected his voice, which was incredible.

Corey Glover co-starred as Judas, and was an excellent stand in for the late Carl Anderson, who played opposite Neeley for so many years and performances.

If you have the chance, go see this touring production!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Pennsylvania Primary

I voted this morning in the PA primary. As a Republican, there wasn't a whole lot of choices - essentially all races were unopposed. I couldn't bring myself to re-register for the Democratic party and participate in Rush's "Operation Chaos".

I did not vote for John McCain today. I will be voting for Senator McCain in November, but today I stood for my principles.

Today, I voted for youth. I voted for Conservatism and respect for our Constitution. I voted for someone on their merits, who coincidentally is a racial minority. I voted for a first generation American, the child of immigrants.

Today, I voted for Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana to be the Republican candidate for President of the United States. Here's to hoping he runs in 2012, or if he chooses not to challenge now-Senator McCain as a Republican incumbent, in 2016.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

TFH 4/17: 1LT Frank Burke, USA

From Medal of Honor citations, TFH has found one that reads more like an action movie summary than a hero's true story, yet it is real:


Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, 15th Infantry, 3d Infantry Division. Place and date: Nuremberg, Germany, 17 April 1945. Entered service at: Jersey City, N.J. Born: 29 September 1918, New York, N.Y. G.O. No.: 4, 9 January 1946. Citation: He fought with extreme gallantry in the streets of war-torn Nuremberg, Germany, where the 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry, was engaged in rooting out fanatical defenders of the citadel of Nazism. As battalion transportation officer he had gone forward to select a motor-pool site, when, in a desire to perform more than his assigned duties and participate in the fight, he advanced beyond the lines of the forward riflemen. Detecting a group of about 10 Germans making preparations for a local counterattack, he rushed back to a nearby American company, secured a light machinegun with ammunition, and daringly opened fire on this superior force, which deployed and returned his fire with machine pistols, rifles, and rocket launchers. From another angle a German machinegun tried to blast him from his emplacement, but 1st Lt. Burke killed this guncrew and drove off the survivors of the unit he had originally attacked. Giving his next attention to enemy infantrymen in ruined buildings, he picked up a rifle dashed more than 100 yards through intense fire and engaged the Germans from behind an abandoned tank. A sniper nearly hit him from a cellar only 20 yards away, but he dispatched this adversary by running directly to the basement window, firing a full clip into it and then plunging through the darkened aperture to complete the job. He withdrew from the fight only long enough to replace his jammed rifle and secure grenades, then re-engaged the Germans. Finding his shots ineffective, he pulled the pins from 2 grenades, and, holding 1 in each hand, rushed the enemy-held building, hurling his missiles just as the enemy threw a potato masher grenade at him. In the triple explosion the Germans were wiped out and 1st Lt. Burke was dazed; but he emerged from the shower of debris that engulfed him, recovered his rifle, and went on to kill 3 more Germans and meet the charge of a machine pistolman, whom he cut down with 3 calmly delivered shots. He then retired toward the American lines and there assisted a platoon in a raging, 30-minute fight against formidable armed hostile forces. This enemy group was repulsed, and the intrepid fighter moved to another friendly group which broke the power of a German unit armed with a 20-mm. gun in a fierce fire fight. In 4 hours of heroic action, 1st Lt. Burke single-handedly killed 11 and wounded 3 enemy soldiers and took a leading role in engagements in which an additional 29 enemy were killed or wounded. His extraordinary bravery and superb fighting skill were an inspiration to his comrades, and his entirely voluntary mission into extremely dangerous territory hastened the fall of Nuremberg, in his battalion's sector.

Heck, had somebody realized that First Lieutenant Burke didn't belong "in the rear with the gear" as a transportation officer, perhaps we'd have won the war sooner!

Seriously now, I thank and honor Lieutenant Burke for his service, sacrifice, and incredible courage and fighting spirit in the face of the forces of tyranny and the enemies of freedom. April 17, 1945 was your finest hour!

Words fail me

Linked from the Drudge Report, a story of true depravity from Yale University's Daily News.

Abortion as "art" - I'm almost physically sick after reading that story.

Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison, Kyrie eleison.

UPDATE 4/18 @ 1345: There are many reports now that this story is a hoax. Hoax or not, the premise of the whole thing is still disgusting, and a sad, sad comment on our society - and higher academia in particular - that it is/was, sadly, completely believeable.

Cup Not-So-Crazy

Looks like I may have to get on the Pittsburgh Penguins' bandwagon. Losing badly in the first round of the playoffs is rough enough, but having my Devils steamrolled by the New York Subhumans is downright depressing.

The Devils came back from a 3-1 deficit in the 2000 conference finals against Philly, but I'm not holding my breath for another miracle, sad to say. I'll keep the fingers crossed though.

Boeing 777 - Cadillac of the Skies

One leg of my trip last week took me from Chicago O'Hare to Denver on United Airlines. The aircraft was originally supposed to be a 767-300. I was pleased to finally be on a wide-body aircraft; hadn't been on one since a HNL-LAX flight on a Northwest DC-10-30 back in 2001.

I was doubly pleased when I arrived at the gate and found that the equipment had been switched for a larger 777-200, a type I hadn't been on. Well, the ride in United's Economy Plus was great, and the sheer size of the Trip7 was awesome!

This is the plane that I rode on (photo not by me) - N215UA.

If you have the option to fly on a 777, take it!

I'm back

Back to the blog after about 10 days. Got away from it since I was on a business trip last week.

Monday, April 07, 2008

TFH 4/7: PFC Mike Colalillo, USA

From Medal of Honor Citations for WWII:


Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company C, 398th Infantry, 100th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Untergriesheim, Germany, 7 April 1945. Entered service at. Duluth, Minn. Birth: Hibbing, Minn. G.O. No.: 4, 9 January 1946. Citation: He was pinned down with other members of his company during an attack against strong enemy positions in the vicinity of Untergriesheim, Germany. Heavy artillery, mortar, and machinegun fire made any move hazardous when he stood up, shouted to the company to follow, and ran forward in the wake of a supporting tank, firing his machine pistol. Inspired by his example, his comrades advanced in the face of savage enemy fire. When his weapon was struck by shrapnel and rendered useless, he climbed to the deck of a friendly tank, manned an exposed machinegun on the turret of the vehicle, and, while bullets rattled about him, fired at an enemy emplacement with such devastating accuracy that he killed or wounded at least 10 hostile soldiers and destroyed their machinegun. Maintaining his extremely dangerous post as the tank forged ahead, he blasted 3 more positions, destroyed another machinegun emplacement and silenced all resistance in his area, killing at least 3 and wounding an undetermined number of riflemen as they fled. His machinegun eventually jammed; so he secured a submachinegun from the tank crew to continue his attack on foot. When our armored forces exhausted their ammunition and the order to withdraw was given, he remained behind to help a seriously wounded comrade over several hundred yards of open terrain rocked by an intense enemy artillery and mortar barrage. By his intrepidity and inspiring courage Pfc. Colallilo gave tremendous impetus to his company's attack, killed or wounded 25 of the enemy in bitter fighting, and assisted a wounded soldier in reaching the American lines at great risk of his own life.

Mike Colalillo, I honor your service and indomitable courage in the face of the enemies of freedom. April 7, 1945 was your finest hour!

Liberal Civil Rights Idiocy

This AP story in reaction to the passing of Charlton Heston (found on CNN and elsewhere) includes the following quote from Mr. Earl Ofari Hutchinson, president of an organization called the Los Angeles Urban Policy Round Table:
"We certainly disagree with his position as NRA head and also his firm, firm,
unwavering support of the unlimited right to bear arms," Hutchinson said. But,
he added, "Charlton Heston was a complex individual. He lived a long time, and
certainly, there were many phases. The phases we prefer to remember were
certainly his contributions to Dr. King and civil rights."

Where I believe the idiocy comes into this is the simple, plain fact that the ultimate defense for all of our Creator-endowed and Constitutionally-protected rights is the individual right to defend ourselves against tyrrany and violence by arming ourselves.

I'm sure that Mr. Hutchinson's anti-Second Amendment stance is rooted in urban gun violence. My challenge to Mr. Hutchinson - and those who agree with him - is this:

If your neighborhoods are afflicted with violence, and you believe that law enforcement can't or isn't dealing with the problem, the solution lies in the Second Amendment. Take back your own streets with law-abiding, armed citizens. If you aren't willing to fight for your own rights, protect your own property and families, and defend your neighbors against gangs, drugs, and the violence that follows them by taking up arms, why should you expect anyone else to do it for you?

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Charlton Heston: October 4, 1924 - April 5, 2008

An epic actor. From standing with Dr. Martin Luther King during the March on Washington to his crusading to protect our Second Amendment Rights as the President of the NRA, Charlton Heston was a patriot and a great American. He will be missed.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

TFH 4/3: PFC Walter C. Wetzel, USA

As MA2(SEAL) Michael Monsoor was honored in this space earlier this week, we recognize that the catalog of our Nation's heroes contains many individuals who willingly sacrificed themselves to save the lives of their fellow fighters. From Medal of Honor Citations for World War II:


Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, 13th Infantry, 8th Infantry Division. Place and date: Birken, Germany, 3 April 1945. Entered service at: Roseville, Mich. Birth: Huntington, W. Va. G.O. No.: 21, 26 February 1946. Citation: Pfc. Wetzel, an acting squad leader with the Antitank Company of the 13th Infantry, was guarding his platoon's command post in a house at Birken, Germany, during the early morning hours of 3 April 1945, when he detected strong enemy forces moving in to attack. He ran into the house, alerted the occupants and immediately began defending the post against heavy automatic weapons fire coming from the hostile troops. Under cover of darkness the Germans forced their way close to the building where they hurled grenades, 2 of which landed in the room where Pfc. Wetzel and the others had taken up firing positions. Shouting a warning to his fellow soldiers, Pfc. Wetzel threw himself on the grenades and, as they exploded, absorbed their entire blast, suffering wounds from which he died. The supreme gallantry of Pfc. Wetzel saved his comrades from death or serious injury and made it possible for them to continue the defense of the command post and break the power of a dangerous local counterthrust by the enemy. His unhesitating sacrifice of his life was in keeping with the U.S. Army's highest traditions of bravery and heroism.

Walter Wetzel, your courage, selflessness, and sacrifice for the lives of your comrades and the cause of Freedom are acts we all honor and are forever thankful. April 3rd, 1945 was your finest hour!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

CNN: "You get a slice of heaven and a pure love in your home"

The supposed - and IMO, BS - link between autism and early childhood vaccinations has been back in the news of late. I was both surprised and pleased to look at this page on CNN's website, as titled above.

Please take the time to watch all five short videos, made by parents of autistic children. To a one, the videos are upbeat, positive, and - despite the challenges and trials presented by this particular disability - how these children are blessings to their parents and families.

I am so happy to see such a forthright, pro-life message coming out of a mainstream media outlet. While I'm reasonably certain that wasn't CNN's intent, it is nice to see a message other than the victim mentality.

My wife and I are blessed with two healthy children, for which I am ever thankful. I have contemplated what it would mean for us and our family to be parenting a disabled child. I know the challenges would be great; I know our lifestyle would be altered. But I also know that my love for the child would be no different.

There are no children unwanted by God; no matter the means of their conception, the circumstances of their birth, their wholeness of health or lack thereof, or the conditions of their parenting or upbringing, that one truth is unchanged.

And thank you, CNN, for helping to make that point - even if you didn't intend to.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Another "Oops" from the mouth of HRC

I'm not so sure that The Cackler should have compared herself to Rocky Balboa. After all, Rocky did lose to Apollo Creed (an African-American) in a split-decision...

Hmmm...perhaps she's on to something.

Hat tip: Drudge

Medal of Honor: MA2(SEAL) Michael A. Monsoor

It was announced yesterday that Master-at-Arms 2nd Class (SEAL) Michael A. Monsoor of the United States Navy has posthumously been awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in Ramadi, Iraq on September 29, 2006.

Petty Officer Monsoor was struck in the chest by an enemy thrown grenade, which he then covered with his body, absorbing its blast, and shielding his comrades from death or greater harm at the cost of his own life. He was 25 years old.

The Navy has set up a wonderful tribute site to this brave, young sailor. Be sure to view the photo tribute!

MA2(SEAL) Monsoor's Medal of Honor will be presented to his parents, Sally and George Monsoor, by President George W. Bush at the White House on April 8th.

Michael Monsoor, thank you for your bravery and sacrifices for our Nation and the cause of Freedom. May you rest in peace, and I hope, in His glory. I am forever greatful for your service.

Mr. and Mrs. Monsoor, I know none of my words can ease your grief at the loss of your son, but thank you for parentage and raising of Michael, an American Hero.

MA2(SEAL) Michael A. Monsoor, USN - September 29, 2006 was your finest hour!

"Some days you win..."

"...some days you lose, and some days, it rains."

Thus was the story of the New York Yankees yesterday. Rain in the Bronx postponed the Yanks' first game until tonight.

The Pirates looked like they were going to be well, the Pirates, when they blew a five-run lead in the bottom of the ninth against Atlanta, but managed to win 12-11 in 12 innings, after almost blowing the lead again.

Who will stop the Pittsburgh juggernaut? The Pirates are on pace to score 1,944 runs this year!

Which is the Christian?

Compare the following Easter messages, and let me know which one sounds like a Christian, and which one should be a Unitarian or secular Humanist?

The Most Rev. Katherine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church

The Rt. Rev. Martyn Minns, Missionary Bishop of CANA