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WARNING: THIS SITE FEATURES ORIGINAL THINKING...Jim Croce once sang Don't tug on Superman's cape..., which seems like reasonable advice should we not wish to anger the supreme powers. We do have this duality in our culture: the Superman that is the state collective, the leftist call to a politics of meaning managed by the state, the deification of "we're from the government and we'll take care of you" - versus the Superman that celebrates individual freedom, private property, freedom of conscience, free enterprise, and limited government. We humbly take on the latter's mantle and, eschewing the feeble tug, we dare to PULL, in hope of seeing freedom's rescue from the encroaching nanny state. We invite you, dear reader, to come and pull as well... Additionally, if you assume that means that we are unflinching, unquestioning GOP zombies, that would be incorrect. We reject statism in any form and call on individuals in our country to return to the original, classical liberalism of our founders. (We're also passionate about art, photography, cooking, technology, Judeo/Christian values, and satire as unique, individual pursuits of happiness to celebrate.)

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November 30, 2005
As long as I'm quoting George Washington...
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics, Washington Politics

He also said:

Government is not reason, it is not eloquence-it is force! Like fire it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master; never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.

I'm thinking of the fact that I live in a state that corruptly elected its governor, just re-elected the corrupt administration that committed the electoral fraud, and whose judicial practice is laughable. I wish I believed in reincarnation. We need you back George.

Pulled by Emcee on November 30, 2005 at 11:18 AM
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November 29, 2005
The first official presidential proclamation...
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to "recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, A.D. 1789.

Signed by: George Washington, our first president.

Wait. Did this happen in America? The country that we live in? What did the ACLU do? Oh, no ACLU then?

Thanks be to God...

Pulled by Emcee on November 29, 2005 at 12:52 AM
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November 28, 2005
Wonder what they do on a night like this...
Filed in: Current Affairs, Photography

We're having 50 mph plus gusts this evening. Out on the Washington coast they're hitting 70+ mph.

I was sorting through pictures tonight - thinking about doing kind of a 'year in pictures' review for the end of the year - and happened on some pictures from Ocean Shores that I took in early summer. I was enjoying catching the gulls in flight that day and ended up catching a rainbow at Defiance Point on the way home...


Now there's no doubt that these guys are comfortable in pretty heavy winds ...

...Continue reading "Wonder what they do on a night like this..."

Pulled by Emcee on November 28, 2005 at 11:29 PM
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November 26, 2005
May I please come in?
Filed in: Current Affairs, Japan, Photography

I made a new discovery at Kichijoji Park on my last visit. I noticed a large steep stairway on the west-southwest side of the temple area and walked up. Most of the walkways from the park just go into the surrounding residential or business areas and this seems to do the same - except when you arrive at the top of the stairs (in this case), you are presented with an entire city block of a temple compound.


And this is not some dilapidated old temple in disrepair. In fact, there's a lot of gold on these buildings...

...Continue reading "May I please come in?"

Pulled by Emcee on November 26, 2005 at 11:50 PM
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November 25, 2005
The goodness of the season ...
Filed in: Current Affairs

The whole house smells of roasting turkey - I stuffed it with lemon, satsumas, onion, and celery, sprinkling liberally with Survival Spice. Put it in a bag that I'd atomized with flour. oil, and more S'Spice - I coated and rubbed the turkey with oil and more 'Spice before it went in the bag. I'm going to order more Survival Spice soon Scott - used about a quarter of a tin just on the turkey ...

Oh, there's also the smell of pecan pie, and pumpkin pie - that pumpkin pie that you make with vanilla pudding - it's all a custardy tasty thing...

In the background I hear the annoncements on Halo 2 as my daughter and her boyfriend play on the tv...

There's mashed potatos blended with sour cream, chives, onions, minced garlic, and onion powder - green bean casserole - I made stuffing - mixed in my onions, satsumas, celery, and lemon juice from inside the turkey, turkey gravy from the drippings, cranberry sauce, and crescent rolls stuffed with cheese...

I'm reminded of dear mothers who have passed on and how they slaved over such delicacies for so many years, so many years ago....

And as the tryptophan kicks in - or maybe it's the jet lag - it doesn't matter which because I don't care - I am contented with all the good things of the season, all the memories of times past, and all the memories we make today, and I'm thankful for all these good things and a country in which I can safely fall to sleep.

Pulled by Emcee on November 25, 2005 at 05:02 PM
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November 24, 2005
If I were to take a light-hearted moment of Goldsteinian turkey pragmatism...
Filed in: Current Affairs

Charles: How do you make a turkey float?

Jeff: A turkey, some scoops of ice cream, and some root beer.

Hillary: Can a turkey jump higher than the Empire State building?

Jeff: Of course, you silly, buildings can't jump!

Update: (Except for the straight, er, persons) I posted this before I saw this.

Pulled by Emcee on November 24, 2005 at 08:35 AM
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Ein jeder kehr’ vor seiner Tür, da hat er Dreck genug dafür.
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics, War on Terror

Investment maven J. Christoph Amberger sent this along in his email last night. I thought it had fairly universal application:

The Monday before Turkey Day, the busy public servants at the Baltimore City Council took a breather from the onerous distractions of local government. Unanimously, the council approved a resolution instructing President Bush and Congress to “commence a humane, orderly, immediate and comprehensive withdrawal” from Iraq.

Apart from opportunity becoming, well, opportune in the current climate of global armchair fifth-columnism, the council declared it was the concern for the lives of Marylanders that compelled them to act.

(Plus, it may have helped that they really didn’t have to put a lot of effort into the details: A local newsman observed that the resolution “exactly mirrors Sacramento’s resolution except for the word ‘immediate.’ The California capitol’s council used ‘rapid.’ ”)

Which is all very noble and heartwarming, to be sure. After all, the temperatures have dropped considerably in the Mid-Atlantic region and it is getting a bit too nippy to stand outside and distribute pamphlets on the streets.

But the same day, a report by Morgan Quitno Press of Lawrence, Kansas, ranked Baltimore the sixth most dangerous city in the country - “worse than Atlanta, Washington and Gary, Indiana” - and the second most dangerous of all the largest US cities.

In fact, the number of Marylanders murdered in Baltimore City in the first ten months of this year alone is a multiple of the number of Marylanders killed in armed conflicts involving US troops since the invasion of Grenada. And despite all their posturing, our City Council men and women have made nary a dent in that.

An old German saying comes to mind: “Ein jeder kehr’ vor seiner Tür, da hat er Dreck genug dafür.”

Everyone sweep in front of his own door. There’s plenty of dirt right in front of you.

Pulled by Emcee on November 24, 2005 at 08:25 AM
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November 23, 2005
More thanks...
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics, War on Terror

Like many of my fellow Americans I'm thankful and look forward to the festivities of the holiday during the next few days. I'll loosen my belt for the upcoming feast of turkey, mashed potatos, stuffing, cranberry dressing, string bean casserole, and some yams perhaps. Even more, I'll enjoy the next few days of turkey sandwiches with cranberry sauce. Yum!

But I continue to be completely overwhelmed with thankfulness for the great men and women that serve this great country - with great staying power. They aren't moved by the slings and arrows of outrageous liberal stream media. They continue to heed freedom's call. Whatever thanks and accolades that can be bestowed on them - they deserve. God Bless freedom's defenders!

It's not unlike my feelings last year - we are still a nation at war. I pray that we all have the determination and the staying power to stay the course.

May you have a blessed Thanksgiving holiday...

Pulled by Emcee on November 23, 2005 at 07:34 PM
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November 21, 2005
It's already Christmas in Kichijoji
Filed in: Current Affairs, Japan, Photography

Some time before I arrived in Kichijoji last week, they decorated for Christmas. That's prior to the second week in November. In their continuous fixation on all things American, they've gone whole hog for the commercial aspects of the season. This is the earliest I've seen any sort of Christmas decorations starting this early in Japan - in the last three years that I've been traveling there.


Coming out of the park, I noticed that some of the shops had some decorations up...


This reminded me of what I had seen earlier in the week at the L. L. Bean store. So I thought it would be interesting to look around town for the decorations on display...

...Continue reading "It's already Christmas in Kichijoji"

Pulled by Emcee on November 21, 2005 at 10:34 AM
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James is back in Iraq...
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics, War on Terror

Exactly one year to the day after being shot up in Fallujah, our guest author, HM2 James Pell has arrived back in Iraq. He sends in this message:

All right, boots on deck as of the 15th of November. The crazy thing about the date is I arrived back in Iraq exactly one year after being shot multiple times. So let the new story begin. We are here to embed into Iraqi units and teach them how to fend for themselves. We live eat and sleep with our units. So far we haven't met up with the unit we will be embedding into but it should happen within the next couple of days. We had little to no warning about this deployment, no more than about a month's notice so everything was rushed. Our teams are not "Teams" yet no one knows anyone and it seems to be a power struggle between the upper management. It sure feels good to be back though. When things actually get moving I should be able to drop a detailed update on a monthly basis.

God speed Doc. Many of us think you've taken enough bullets for your country. God Bless you for your great service. I know that many of those in your new unit will live because you are there.

Pulled by Emcee on November 21, 2005 at 09:42 AM
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James Pell - Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class - American hero with stories to tell about Iraq, Kosovo, and Bosnia.

Emcee - "Don't encourage him!" Jeff Goldstein

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