New Court Ruling

This just in from CNN..The Supreme Court has ruled there can't be a Nativity Scene in the United States Capital this Christmas season. Not for any religious reason. They simply have not been able to find Three Wise Men in Washington. The search for a Virgin continues. There wasn't any problem, however, finding enough asses to fill the stable.


Wisdom of a Common Man

"Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip." -- Will Rogers


Thank You

American troops are the strongest, bravest, and best anywhere in the world. They have never been afraid to meet any foe on any field of battle anywhere. I am humbled by the amazing sacrifices these people and their families have made for our country in general and for my family and I specifically. Thank you very much to all who have served or are serving.


For My Friend Z

My thoughts and prayers are with you.



This just in: Obama has just been named the winner of Survivor, So You Think You Can Dance, America's Got Talent, American Idol (I can see their point on that one), the Master's golf tournament, the Indy 500, the Preakness, and was given more gold medals than Michael Phelps. Phelps and Obama are now going to have a summit and share a bong on the Whitehouse lawn to reconcile.


Common Ground

It seems that Papa Frank and Obama have finally found some common ground. When asked about Kanye West's latest outburst of idiocy Obama made the poignant observation that Kanye West is a jackass. For a small moment here I am proud of you Mr. President.


I Am Proud Of Our School District

The Belton School District has received a number of inquiries regarding its plans for President Obama’s address to students on Sept. 8. In light of those inquiries, we have adopted the following plans.

The Belton School District will observe a normal school schedule on Sept. 8. No classrooms will view President Obama’s address live. The administration will view and tape the president’s address to American school children. The tape may be used in the future as a curriculum resource in appropriate classes. In that event, parents will be notified by teachers if they plan to use the tape in class. Parents may elect to remove their child during the viewing and discussion of the president’s talk. Students not participating will be assigned an alternative learning activity to cover the class objective for that day.

The tape of President Obama’s address will be available for parent check-out in every school library. Parents may check out the tape for home viewing with their children. If a group of parents would like to view the tape together with their children they may make arrangements to use a school library for that purpose.


The Indoctrination Begins September 8th

Menu of Classroom Activities
President Obama’s Address to Students Across America

Produced by Teaching Ambassador Fellows, U.S. Department of Education

September 8, 2009

Before the Speech
• Teachers can build background knowledge about the President of the United States and his speech by reading books about presidents and Barack Obama. Teachers could motivate students by asking the following questions:
Who is the President of the United States?
What do you think it takes to be president?
To whom do you think the president is going to be speaking?
Why do you think he wants to speak to you?
What do you think he will say to you?
• Teachers can ask students to imagine that they are delivering a speech to all of the students in the United States.
If you were the president, what would you tell students?
What can students do to help in our schools?
Teachers can chart ideas about what students would say.
• Why is it important that we listen to the president and other elected officials, like the mayor, senators, members of congress, or the governor? Why is what they say important?
During the Speech
• As the president speaks, teachers can ask students to write down key ideas or phrases that are important or personally meaningful. Students could use a note-taking graphic organizer such as a “cluster web;” or, students could record their thoughts on sticky notes. Younger children could draw pictures and write as appropriate. As students listen to the speech, they could think about the following:
What is the president trying to tell me?
What is the president asking me to do?
What new ideas and actions is the president challenging me to think about?
• Students could record important parts of the speech where the president is asking them to do something. Students might think about the following:
What specific job is he asking me to do?
Is he asking anything of anyone else?
Teachers? Principals? Parents? The American people?
• Students could record questions they have while he is speaking and then discuss them after the speech. Younger children may need to dictate their questions.

After the Speech
• Teachers could ask students to share the ideas they recorded, exchange sticky notes, or place notes on a butcher-paper poster in the classroom to discuss main ideas from the speech, such as citizenship, personal responsibility, and civic duty.
• Students could discuss their responses to the following questions:
What do you think the president wants us to do?
Does the speech make you want to do anything?
Are we able to do what President Obama is asking of us?
What would you like to tell the president?

Extension of the Speech

Teachers could extend learning by having students:
• Create posters of their goals. Posters could be formatted in quadrants, puzzle pieces, or trails marked with the following labels: personal, academic, community, and country. Each area could be labeled with three steps for achieving goals in that area. It might make sense to focus first on personal and academic goals so that community and country goals can be more readily created.
• Write letters to themselves about how they can achieve their short-term and long-term education goals. Teachers would collect and redistribute these letters at an appropriate later date to enable students to monitor their progress.
• Write goals on colored index cards or precut designs to post around the classroom.
• Interview one another and share goals with the class to create a supportive community.
• Participate in school-wide incentive programs or contests for those students who achieve their goals.
• Write about their goals in a variety of genres, such as poems, songs, and personal essays.
• Create artistic projects based on the themes of their goals.
• Graph individual progress toward goals.


What's It To Ya?

My family and I visited a new church this morning. The pastor there used a phrase in passing that stuck out to me. He said that something was a "blazingly beautiful experience." Those that have been around here for quite some time might recall that beauty is something that I hold dear. In fact I am in a never ending pursuit of the beautiful. Beauty is something that has not been talked about much on this blog lately and that is something that I am going to change. In that vein, I would like to ponder here what a "blazingly beautiful experience" would be to me. Beautiful is the word here that stands out to most and can be defined as: "delighting the senses or exciting intellectual or emotional admiration." Though this is the most commonly used word in the phrase it is also perhaps the toughest to nail down. By it's own definition it is the essence of subjectivity. So I say: why try?

What have I experienced that I would classify as blazingly beautiful? As with the pastor, the first thing that comes to mind is my experience as a child where I chose to place my life in the hands of an Almighty God. That experience is etched on my mind and is one that I will take with me as long as I have breath. The moment I stood with my wife in front of a large group of friends and family and professed my love for her and my desire to forever join my life with hers. That was a blazingly beautiful experience. The morning that I watched as my twin girls were brought into this world and I held them in my arms and stared at their beautiful faces and held their tiny fingers in my seemingly gigantic hands. That was a blazingly beautiful experience. These are earth shattering and life changing experiences. Easy to see how they could be blazingly beautiful. However, I would offer that the majority of blazingly beautiful experiences in my life are very quiet and unassuming. Things that may be easily passed over by an onlooker. Yet to me they are times of magnitude. Standing in my plain white sheet "ghost" costume as a child waiting to take my first breath of cold Michigan air and mutter the words "trick or treat." My father taking the time to walk around the neighborhood and just talk with me as a child. My mother laying me on her lap in the car and gently breathing warm air in my ear to soothe the pain of an earache. Staying up all night with my wife on accident. Sleeping in my chair while holding my daughters. Watching a child at that very moment when they "get it" and learn something. Sitting in the woods holding a gun and watching intently for anything through the mist of warm breath and cold air. A perfect meal. A sunset shared with my family. And a thousand things in between all these events.

What do you find to be a blazingly beautiful experience?


Happy Birthday???

I would like to wish our President a happy birthday today. Of course, since his birth certificate is still as elusive as Bigfoot we don't really know how old he is or if today is even his birthday at all. So Happy Birthday Mr. President.........maybe.


Red Stripe, Blue Moon, and the White House

How many beers does it take to solve a dispute falsely labeled a race issue? If you find yourself in a dispute maybe you too can go drinking with the President of the free world. We'll just call it diplomacy for dummies (or drunks).


Car Allowance Rebate System

First things first folks. My apologies for my disappearance. I offer no excuses just a simple apology. I'll try not to be gone so long in the future. Now on to the new post.....

By now you have certainly heard of the "cash for clunkers" legislation (or as it is actually called the Car Allowance Rebate System.) I have been saying for a long time now that the best way to help the American car companies was not to just hand them billions of dollars but to instead give that money to citizens in the form of a rebate for buying new cars. That way your money goes twice as far since you have helped the common consumer as well as got the needed revenue into the hands of the car companies. Not only that but you helped them while increasing their sales and not just "bailed them out" but did nothing to help the real problem which is the fact that they were not selling cars. Enter the new CARS legislation. This program would appear to be doing exactly what I thought would be a better idea. One little problem. The legislation and the program is not focused on helping the American car companies or you and I for that matter. Instead the main focus of the program is on continuing the agenda of so-called environmentalists. The government does not care if one single American car is bought. They only care that we get more fuel efficient vehicles on the road no matter who they come from. Here's a little excerpt from their FAQ section:

"I don't drive an American car but I would like to trade in my old car for a newer, more fuel efficient one. Is this program only for American cars?
No. You may trade in or buy a domestic or a foreign vehicle."

I hope the other countries of the world are grateful for our continued pursuit of minding their interest and not our own.


Sweet Land of Liberty

My country,' tis of thee,
sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing;
land where my fathers died,
land of the pilgrims' pride,
from every mountainside let freedom ring!

My native country, thee,
land of the noble free, thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
thy woods and templed hills;
my heart with rapture thrills, like that above.

Let music swell the breeze,
and ring from all the trees sweet freedom's song;
let mortal tongues awake;
let all that breathe partake;
let rocks their silence break, the sound prolong.

Our fathers' God, to thee,
author of liberty, to thee we sing;
long may our land be bright
with freedom's holy light;
protect us by thy might, great God, our King.


Moron of the Day

I would like to award the Moron of the Day award to Rudy Clay, the mayor of Gary, Indiana. In his bid to persuade the Jackson family to bury Michael Jackson in Gary, Indiana he offered the following:

"I believe that his body will lie in state in Gary, Indiana. Now, it may not happen, but I believe it will." He added it will be: "a memorial that's fit for the prince of peace and a memorial that's fit for Gary, Indiana's favorite son, the greatest entertainer that ever lived."

I would like to inform the mayor of Gary, Indiana that the title of Prince of Peace is already taken. Unless, of course, he would like to push the person to whom that title belongs off His throne. You, sir, are a moron. Not a very good week for mayors. SHEESH!!!


Coup in Honduras

Caracas, Venezuela, 28 June 2009. The democratically elected President of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, has been abducted by the local Air Force from the government Palace at Tegucigalpa early this morning. The kidnapping took place on the very same day Honudurans would vote over a referendum call for a Constituent Assembly. Such political initiative caused opposition at some conservative cadress and the destitution of the Chief of the Honduran Army Romeo Vásquez Velásquez. The ongoing coup has been fueled by military sectors that opposed the attempt to change presidential terms by a Constittutional reform. Zelaya was initially supported by conservatives but then rejected once his government followed a left leaning agenda and established close ties with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and joined ALBA. Pro government supporters of President Manuel Zelaya have been protesting at the presidential palace and confronted military personnel. Power supply has been disrupted. Radio Station are unable to broadcast on the current crisis. Opposition led Honduran channel 11 has been broadcasting cartoons instead of reporting on the coup. The local governmental TV station - Channel 8 -has halted its transmission. Very few private stations are reoporting on the ongoing coup. Only two days ago, OAS had expressed concern over ottempts to ovewrthorow the democratically elected government in Honduras. During a Telesur interview with Hector Zelaya, son of the ousted President, unconfirmed information suggested the Head of State was taken out of the country. It is believed Zelaya is at Costa Rica or Guatemala. All other Minister- except Honduran Foreing Secretay Patricia Rodas- had been abducted too.


Michael Jackson Dead at Age 50

Michael Joseph Jackson was born on August 29, 1958 and died June 25, 2009.


Just Sayin'

Now what do we all know of that draws flies???


The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)

Our family spent the last week on vacation in Kentucky and Tennessee. We had the pleasure of going to Mammoth Cave National Park and Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Much of what we enjoyed there was built with the blood and sweat of the Civilian Conservation Corps.

The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was a public work relief program for unemployed men, focused on natural resource conservation from 1933 to 1942. As part of the New Deal legislation proposed by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR), the CCC was designed to aid relief of high unemployment stemming from the Great Depression while carrying out a broad natural resource conservation program on national, state and municipal lands. Legislation to create the program was introduced by FDR to the 73rd United States Congress on March 21, 1933, and the Emergency Conservation Work Act, as it was known, was signed into law on March 31, 1933. The CCC became one of the most popular New Deal programs among the general public and operated in every U.S. state and the territories of Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. While FDR is given credit for the idea of this program, in truth the suggestion came from Republican Senator James Couzens of Michigan, who was given the idea in a letter from a constituent, Archibald Sun of Detroit, Michigan.

The CCC put many young men to work doing worthwhile projects across the USA. The men were paid one dollar each day and were given three hot meals. This is the origin of the phrase "Another day, another dollar." This is part of what they accomplished:

* restored 3980 historical structures
* developed 800 state parks
* built 28,087 miles of trails
* built 38,550 vehicle bridges
* built 3116 lookout towers
* built lodges and museums
* worked on National Parks


Breaking News.......Literally!!!

The White House says Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor has broken her ankle after an airport stumble in New York City.
Sotomayor fractured her right ankle Monday morning at New York's LaGuardia Airport before boarding a shuttle to Washington for an afternoon of meetings with senators.

The accident occurred when this man...

...decided to pull a childish prank and offered a...

...to Supreme Court nominee...

...Knowing full well that liberals are too stupid to walk and chew gum at the same time.


Wings Over Whiteman Air Show

Today we had the privilege of attending the air show at Whiteman Air Force Base in Knob Knoster, Missouri. To say that we have the most awesome aircraft in the world is an understatement. Whiteman houses not one or two of the B-2 Stealth Bombers. They have ALL of them. Up close and personal they are even more intimidating than any pictures you've seen. And the F-22 Raptor is enough to make you tremble without even seeing it fly. When you add in the bravest pilots in the world there is no wonder that we enjoy air superiority across the globe.


Obama is Wrong as Usual

Paul L. Williams, Ph.D.


Speaking at the University of Cairo, President Barack Hussein Obama said that Americans are indebted to Islam for the great contributions Muslims have made to the history and development of the United States.

“I know that Islam has always been a part of America’s story,” Mr. Obama told the throng of unenlightened Muslims. “The first nation to recognize my country was Morocco. . . And since our founding, American Muslims have enriched the United States.”

Mr. Obama went on to say: “They [Muslims] have fought in our wars. They have served in our government. They have stood for civil rights. They have started businesses. They have taught at our universities. They’ve excelled in our sports arenas. They’ve won Nobel Prizes, built our tallest building and lit the Olympic torch. And when the first Muslim American was recently elected to Congress, he took the oath to defend our Constitution using the same holy Koran that one of our founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson, kept in his personal library.”

No one at the Egyptian University or the international media took issue with the President’s bizarre interpretation of American history, let alone his confusion of the Nation of Islam (the religion of Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X) that bears scant similarity to orthodox Islam. The Nation of Islam teach that Allah in the flesh was a bona fide nutcase named Wallace Fard and that Eli Muhammad, a conman with a tested IQ of 70 and not the Prophet Muhammad, was the true last prophet of Allah.

Let’s set the record straight once and for all.

Sorry, Barack Hussein, but there were no Muslims among the passengers on the Mayflower or the settlers at Jamestown. Muslims were conspicuously absent from the ranks of George Washington’s Army of the Revolution and played no role in the creation of the American republic - - save for the fact that the new country’s first declaration of war was against the forces of Islam in the form of the Barbary pirates.1

Despite popular folklore, few Muslims numbered among the 12 million black Africans who were shipped to the New World from the 17th to 19th centuries. The Muslims, in fact, were not the slaves but the slave traders. Senegalese educator Amadou-Mahtar M’Bow has written that in 1587 a shipload of Moriscos (Spanish Moors) landed in a coastal area of South Carolina. The Moors, he contends, migrated to the mountains of eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina where they established colonies.2 In reality, this is pure speculation. There is not a scintilla of archival or archaeological evidence to support this claim.

This is not to say that no Muslim slaves were transported to the colonies. Two such slaves - - Ayuiba Suleiman Diallo and Omar ibn Said - - were brought to America is 1731 but both were returned to Africa in 1734.3 In a Herculean effort to materialize at least one Muslim living in America before the Civil War, Muslims in America, an Islamic website, point to the name of Mahomet, the great grandson of Uncas, the founder of the Mohegan tribe, on a gravestone in Norwich, Connecticut.4 The name of this Native America, they argue, resembles that of the prophet, and, therefore, he must have been a convert to Islam.

In a similar example of straining at gnats, the compilers of The Collections and Stories of American Muslims, a non-profit organization, claim that Peter Salem, a former slave who fought at the Battle of Bunker Hill, must have been a Muslim since “Salem” bears an etymological resemblance to “Salaam,” the Arabic word for peace.5

For additional proof, the compilers turn to folklore, such as the story of Old Tom, a slave at a plantation in Georgia, who allegedly uttered, “Allah is God and Mohammed his Prophet” on his death-bed - - and the apocryphal tale of “Old Lizzy,” a slave from Edgefield County, who reportedly said, “Christ built His first church in Mecca.”6

Surprisingly, there is no record of any Islamic American among the enlisted and conscripted forces of World War I, let alone among the blue and grey armies of the Civil War. The great migrations that lasted from 1865 to 1925 brought 35,000,000 people to the New World: 4,500,000 from Ireland, 4,000,000 from Great Britain, 6,000,000 from central Europe, 2,000,000 from the Scandinavian countries, 5,000,000 from Italy, 8,000,000 from Eastern Europe, and 3,000,000 from the Balkans. But the number of Muslims who came here from the Middle East was statistically nil.7

In 1960, aside from the temples of the Nation of Islam, the only mosques in the United States were in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Dearborn, Michigan, and Washington DC (which opened in 1957) - - and all three professed less than 200 active members. Four other cities contained miniature mosques with less than fifty members.8

Oh, yes, Jefferson did possess a copy of the Koran which Keith Ellison, our first openly Muslim Congressman, used to make his oath of office. But what was Jefferson opinion of Islam? Did he believe the Muslim religion represented a salubrious influence in world affairs? Far from it. In 1786 Thomas Jefferson, then US ambassador to France, and John Adams, then US Ambassador to Britain, met in London with Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja, the Dey’s ambassador to Britain, in an attempt to negotiate a peace treaty with the Barbary Pirates based on Congress’ vote of funding. To the US Congress these two future Presidents later reported the reasons for the Muslims’ hostility towards America, a nation with which they had no previous contacts.

“…that it was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman (Muslim) who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise.”
Jefferson had it right.

Obama has it wrong.


A Warning

"The United States is not, and will never be, at war with Islam." These are our Presidents words to you Americans. However, let me remind you that many who practice Islam ARE MOST CERTAINLY at war with the United States. They hate us and everything we stand for. Even if our President's head is stuck in the sand we must never allow ourselves to be fooled again. We MUST remain vigilant.


Springfield XD 9mm

Chuck Taylor's view of the Springfield XD 9mm:

In the category of small arms, the names of B. Tyler Henry, Hiram Maxim, John Browning and George Luger attained legendary status, as did Sam Colt, Daniel Wesson. John Garand, Eugene Stoner and Mikhail Kalashnikov cast huge shadows in the world of military rifle design, as does Gaston Glock in the world of handguns.

Yet, though on the surface, these men's achievements appear unrelated, they all share one thing in common – they took existing concepts and reshaped them into something whose time had come. And in so doing, they facilitated a quantum leap in technology that elevated the state of the art in their respective endeavors.

So it is with the Vukovic-led Croatian design team engineers who designed Springfield Armory's XD-9 9x19mm pistol. Although they're probably not aware of it, they created something significantly better than anything that came before. Incorporating the best of both Glock and SIG designs with a few new wrinkles thrown in for good measure, the XD-9 is a strong contender for the title of being the first true pistol of the 21st century.

Historically, the XD-9 began life as the HS-2000, which itself was an improved version of I.M. Metalworks (Karlovac, Croatia) HS-95 of 1995. But it actually first appeared as the PHP in 1991, though that particular pistol was fraught with a few quality control problems due to the ongoing Croatian civil war. Vukovic's design team continually refined the PHP and HS-95, correcting its design and metallurgical weaknesses, the final version being designated as the HS-2000. At this point, I'll forego further historic commentary because it would be redundant, since the HS-2000 was covered in detail in a previous issue of COMBAT HANDGUNS. Shortly thereafter, Springfield Armory acquired importation rights and re-designated the weapon as the XD-9.


Sorry Folks!

I'm sorry folks. Sorry I haven't been keeping up posting here or getting around to visit all my blog friends. No excuses. I've just been a little lazy. That and I've been feeding my addiction to Mafia Wars on Facebook. I'll get back to normal soon. Thanks for your patience with me.


The Use of Deadly Force

Take out a $100 bill. Let's make a bet. If I win the bet then I get your $100. If you win the bet then you get to keep your $100. Is that a good bet? That, my friends, is a gun fight. YOU RISK EVERYTHING AND YOU DON'T WIN ANYTHING. YOU JUST GET TO KEEP WHAT YOU HAVE. Gun fights should be avoided like the plague but if you find yourself in a gun fight then you will be happy that you have trained to win. It is not near enough to own a gun. The gun is only the tool. YOU must be the craftsman and know how to use that tool skillfully.

When is it justifiable to use deadly force?

You are universally justified in the use of deadly force when there is a reasonable fear of immediate or otherwise unavoidable danger of death or serious bodily injury to the innocent. All these factors must be present in order to justifiably use deadly force. Lacking any one or more of the key factors will result in a questionable use of deadly force and you will face the criminal and civil consequences.

REMEMBER: Gun fighting is risky business. You risk everything and you don't win anything. At best you just get to keep what you already have. Those of you out there who own guns and carry them for protection I would urge you to get out and train to win.


Focus on the Front Sight

The name Front Sight comes from a shooting technique that focuses on just that. In this technique the most important thing to focus on is the front sight of your gun. As pictured above you should have the front sight completely in perfect focus while the target is blurry. This idea is coupled with learning to have a correct stance and correct grip on your gun. Once your stance and your grip are right you place the front sight on the center of mass of your target as your finger enters the trigger guard and begins to take the slack out of the trigger, align the sights perfectly as you transition your focus to the front sight. Establish a crystal clear focus on the front sight as you smoothly PRESS (not pull) the trigger until you receive a surprise break. For me the difference between me pulling the trigger and me pressing the trigger with an even pressure and letting the pressure build until a surprise break made an enormous difference in the accuracy of my shots.


Front Sight Institute

I had the great privilege of attending Front Sight this past weekend. It is billed as the premiere school for gun handling instruction in the country and having attended a 2-day handgun defense class there I have no arguments with that assessment. Simply put it is an awesome campus with awesome instruction and awesome instructors and range masters. I'll go much farther into their philosophy and my experience there throughout the week.


Dom Deluise Dies at Age 75

DeLuise generally appeared in comedic parts, although an early appearance (in the movie Fail-Safe as a nervous enlisted airman) showed a possible broader range. His first acting credit was as a regular performer in the television show The Entertainers in 1964. In the 1970s and 1980s, he often co-starred with Burt Reynolds; together they appeared in the films The Cannonball Run and Cannonball Run II, Smokey and the Bandit II, The End, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and All Dogs Go to Heaven. DeLuise was the host of the television show Candid Camera from 1991 to 1992.
TV producer Greg Garrison hired DeLuise to appear as a specialty act on the popular Dean Martin show. DeLuise ran through his "Dominick the Great" routine, a riotous example of a magic act gone wrong, with host Martin as a bemused volunteer from the audience. Dom's catch phrase in broken Italian dialect, No Applause Necessary, Sava to the End. The show went so well that DeLuise was soon a regular on Martin's program, participating in both songs and sketches. Garrison also featured DeLuise in his own hour-long comedy specials for ABC. (Martin was often just off-camera when these were taped, and his distinctive laugh can be heard loud and clear.)
DeLuise was probably best known as a regular in Mel Brooks's films. He appeared in The Twelve Chairs, Blazing Saddles, Silent Movie, History of the World, Part I, Spaceballs & Robin Hood: Men in Tights. Brooks' late wife, actress Anne Bancroft, directed Dom in Fatso (1980). He also had a cameo in Johnny Dangerously as the Pope, and in Jim Henson's The Muppet Movie as a wayward Hollywood talent agent who comes across Kermit the Frog singing "The Rainbow Connection" in the film's opening scene.
DeLuise exhibited his comedic talents while playing the speaking part of the jailer Frosch in the comedic operetta Die Fledermaus at the Metropolitan Opera. In the production, while the singing was in German, the spoken parts were in English.
An avid cook and author of several books on cooking, in recent years he appeared as a regular contributor to a syndicated home improvement radio show, On The House with The Carey Brothers, giving listeners tips on culinary topics.[4] He also wrote several children's books.


WHO raises swine flu alert to 'pandemic level 5'

The World Health Organization has raised its pandemic alert for swine flu to the second highest level, meaning that it believes a global outbreak of the disease is imminent.

WHO says the phase 5 alert means there is sustained human-to-human spread in at least two countries. It also signals that efforts to produce a vaccine will be ramped up.

WHO has confirmed human cases of swine flu in Mexico, the United States, Canada, Britain, Israel, New Zealand and Spain. Mexico and the U.S. have reported deaths.

WHO Director-General Margaret Chan made the decision Wednesday to raise the alert level from phase 4 — signifying transmission in only one country — after reviewing the latest scientific evidence on the outbreak.

"It is important to take this very seriously," Chan told a press conference watched around the globe on Wednesday.

As fear and uncertainty about the disease ricocheted around the globe, nations took all sorts of precautions, some more useful than others.

Britain closed a school after a 12-year-old girl was found to have the disease. Egypt slaughtered all its pigs and the central African nation of Gabon became the latest nation to ban pork imports, despite assurances that swine flu was not related to eating pork.

Cuba eased its flight ban, deciding just to block flights coming in from Mexico. And Asian nations greeted returning airport travelers with teams of medical workers and carts of disinfectants, eager to keep swine flu from infecting their continent.

In Mexico City, the epicenter of the epidemic, the mayor said Wednesday the outbreak seemed to be stabilizing and he was considering easing the citywide shutdown that closed schools, restaurants, concert halls and sports arenas.

Swine flu is suspected of killing more than 150 people in Mexico and sickening over 2,400 there.

Nearly 100 cases have now been confirmed in the U.S. across 11 states, and health officials reported Wednesday that a 23-month-old Mexican boy had died in Texas.

Across Europe, Germany confirmed three swine flu cases and Austria one, while the number of confirmed cases rose to five in Britain and ten in Spain.

WHO conducted a scientific review Wednesday to determine exactly what is known about how the disease spreads, how it affects human health and how it can be treated.

The U.S., the European Union and other countries have discouraged nonessential travel to Mexico. Cuba suspended all regular and charter flights from Mexico to the island but was still allowing airlines to return travelers to Mexico.

Egypt’s government ordered the slaughter of all pigs in the country as a precaution, though no swine flu cases have been reported there. Egypt’s overwhelmingly Muslim population does not eat pork, but farmers raise up to 350,000 pigs for its Christian minority.

In Australia, officials were testing more than 100 people with flu symptoms for the virus and the government gave health authorities wide powers to contain contagious diseases.

“(We can make) sure that people are isolated and perhaps detained if they don’t cooperate and are showing symptoms,” said Health Minister Nicola Roxon.


A Mistake? That's an Understatement!!!

A photo-op over the Manhattan skyline that sent thousands of New Yorkers running for their lives has officials in Washington, D.C., running for cover.

Many New Yorkers on Tuesday were asking what the Obama administration could have been thinking when it authorized an Air Force One backup plane to fly over the city for photos capturing the presidential plane with the Statue of Liberty in the background.

The 747 plane, with an F-16 escort following close behind, circled the Statue of Liberty and the skyline near the World Trade Center site for about a half-hour. Offices were evacuated. Emergency call centers were inundated. Witnesses reported that the planes were flying dangerously low

The site evoked memories of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and left White House Military Office Director Louis Caldera accepting responsibility and apologizing late Monday for permitting the exercise that infuriated New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who had not been alerted to the flyover.

President Obama, who was meeting with FBI Director Robert Mueller and other senior officials at the FBI on Tuesday, called the photo-op "a mistake."

Just leave it to the sophomoric amateurs running the White House to pull an idiotic stunt like this one. Since they got a pass on all the blunders they have made overseas I guess they figured they would try making some huge ones here and see how they would play to the kool-aid drunk masses. And by the way, this little stunt cost you and me (the taxpayers) $328,000.


Are We on the Verge of a Pandemic?

Published Date: 26 April 2009
By Kate Foster
THE World Health Organisation was last night trying to find a way to halt the spread of a deadly new strain of flu across the world.
After a crisis meeting following the deaths of up to 68 people in Mexico, WHO declared swine flu could turn into a pandemic.

More than 1,000 others are reported to have been infected by the virus in Mexico. Health officials believe at least eight schoolchildren in New York have the virus. In addition residents of Kansas, Texas and California have developed symptoms, raising fears the outbreak could hit thousands more.

In London, a British Airways cabin crew member was admitted to hospital yesterday after arriving on a flight from Mexico City.

The flu combines genetic material from pigs, birds and humans in a way scientists have not seen before. The fact that many deaths are among young adults is a hallmark of pandemic flu. WHO says 12 of the Mexican cases have been laboratory confirmed as genetically identical to the swine flu virus detected in the US.

The global health body has said that so far there is no evidence of similar outbreaks elsewhere in the world. But it has advised other countries to look out following the discovery of related strains on both sides of the Mexico-US border. Further measures, such as travel restrictions, may be put in place if the virus spreads.

The virus appears to cause flu-like symptoms that can develop into severe pneumonia. Swine flu is endemic in pigs, but unlike bird flu is able to pass from human to human. There have been three major outbreaks around the world in the past century, including the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, in which the virus mutated into a human form in months, killing 50 million people worldwide.

A WHO spokesman said: "We are very, very concerned. We have what appears to be a novel virus and it has spread from human to human. It's all hands on deck at the moment.

"We do seem to have found incidents of the same illness on both sides of the border in various locations. We're not sure exactly of the transmission routes, where the initial infection came from, how efficient it is in transmitting."

WHO is also questioning why no one has died in the US so far, while there have been confirmed deaths in Mexico. Some parts of the Mexican capital, population 20 million, have ground to a standstill over the crisis. Most of the fatalities have occurred in the city. Mexican authorities have urged people to avoid hospitals unless they have a medical emergency. They also say the public should avoid customary greetings such as shaking hands or kissing.

At Mexico City's international airport, passengers were questioned to try to prevent anyone with flu symptoms from boarding aircraft and spreading the disease.

Mexico City officials said yesterday they are suspending all public events for another 10 days to try to contain the epidemic. A hotline set up the previous day fielded 2,366 calls from frightened city residents who suspected they might have the disease. The Mexican government has given the health department powers to isolate patients and inspect homes, incoming travellers and baggage.

The United Nations health agency has warned for several years that a new virus strain could spark an influenza pandemic that could sweep the globe, killing millions.

This outbreak is particularly alarming as deaths have occurred in at least four regions of Mexico and because the victims have not been vulnerable infants and elderly. The 1918 outbreak also first struck the young and healthy.

Scientists say the current seasonal flu vaccine is not believed to offer protection against this swine flu. But anti-viral drug Tamiflu appears to be fully effective against the H1N1 virus. However, WHO says it is too soon to advise drug firms to switch to producing a new vaccine.

What is a pandemic?

A pandemic is an epidemic of an infectious disease that spreads through populations across a region or across the globe. The criteria for a pandemic are that the disease is new, infects humans, like the swine flu virus, left, and causes serious illness and spreads easily. One major fear is that a virus will spread from birds or animals to humans, creating a new highly lethal strain.

Welcome Tyson Jackson to the Kansas City Chiefs

Tyson Jackson (born June 6, 1986 in New Orleans, Louisiana) is an American football defensive end for the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Chiefs with the third overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. He played college football at LSU.


Tony Gonzalez Traded to the Falcons

The Kansas City Chiefs have just traded the greatest Tight End of all time to the Atlanta Falcons for nothing but a 2nd round pick in next year's draft. This is a sad day indeed. Thank you #88 for all you have given to the fans here in Kansas City!!! You will ALWAYS be remembered as a Chief and I hope you choose to go into the Hall of Fame as a Chief. Farewell Tony G. You are the very best of the Chiefs and you will be greatly missed.


What Are Burnt Ends?

As many people asked me what a burnt end was I figured I should enlighten everyone as to the goodness that is the burnt end. I had never thought that they were primarily found here in Kansas City. A word of caution to all you health nuts out there -- give it a rest for just one day. FAT IS FLAVOR!!! So here we go. What is a burnt end?

Burnt ends are flavorful pieces of meat cut from the ends of a smoked brisket. A traditional part of Kansas City Barbecue, burnt ends are considered a delicacy in barbecue cooking. They are traditionally a leftover result of smoked beef or pork brisket, but can also be made by returning pieces of the brisket to the smoker for further cooking. Burnt ends can be served alone (usually smothered in barbecue sauce) or in sandwiches, as well as in a variety of other dishes, including baked beans and gumbo.

That is a pretty good description of burnt ends but it does not go anywhere near close enough to describe the yummy, meaty goodness that is burnt ends. Think of burnt ends as the little bits of meat you stole from the roast that your mom just brought out of the oven. Or the tiny bits of the Thanksgiving turkey that never made it to the table. My sympathy goes out to anyone that has not had an opportunity to try a burnt end sandwich. If anyone comes to visit me here in Missouri I will certainly take you out for one!!!


Papa is One Year Older!!!

The cake which my beautiful wife and girls made for me.

One of my gifts - a new flag for our flag pole.

Today is my birthday! I had the pleasure of spending the day with my family which is my favorite pastime. We went to a local BBQ joint here and had a wonderful feast of ribs, smoked pork, sausage, ham, burnt ends, brisket, baked beans, cole slaw, texas toast, and potato wedge french fries. After that we went to my sister's house for chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting and ice cream. I am a very lucky and extremely loved man/servant/son/husband/Papa. For that I am eternally grateful to God my Heavenly Father.