Anti-Muslim Congressman, Virgil Goode, Defeated

This is great news.  Hat tip to The Tin Man.

Two years ago when newly elected Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison, who follows the Muslim faith, took the oath of office he obviously used the Koran.  Ellison held the copy of the Koran that Thomas Jefferson….yes that Thomas Jefferson…owned.  It was then Congressman Virgil Goode made a most unforgivable statement.

“When I raise my hand to take the oath on Swearing In Day, I will have the Bible in my other hand. I do not subscribe to using the Koran in any way. The Muslim Representative from Minnesota was elected by the voters of that district and if American citizens don’t wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Koran. …I fear that in the next century we will have many more Muslims in the United States if we do not adopt the strict immigration policies that I believe are necessary to preserve the values and beliefs traditional to the United States of America and to prevent our resources from being swamped.”

As Tinman notes, Ellison was not an immigrant, but a former Roman Catholic that converted to Islam.

This week the voters in Virginia gave Virgil Goode a swift kick in the pants, and ousted him from Congress.

James and I still recall the day we were driving and heard the statement over the radio made by Goode, and wondered what was happening to the ideas that we long cherished about democracy.  There were many reasons to be happy about the election, but the removal of Congressman Goode has to be among the top five. 

Another from the top five was the defeat of homophobic conservative Marilyn Musgrave.

Gun Owners Frightened By Democracy

This is creepy.

Sales of rifles, pistols and ammo are surging in parts of the United States, as many gun owners fear President-elect Barack Obama‘s administration may seek to tighten ownership of certain weapons.

“The day after the election, I had many more calls than usual from people looking for semi-automatic rifles,” said David Greenberg, the owner of the Second Amendment Family Gun Shop, in Bisbee, Arizona, who sold out of AR-15 rifles in recent days.

“There seems to be a fear they will be banned, and it’s fairly likely,” he added. “Obama and Biden are driven to eliminate firearms from the face of the country.”

Gun stores and trade groups have reported a spike in firearms sales in the run-up to the November 4 election victory of Democrat Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden, who many perceive as strongly pro-gun control.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation, a trade association for the shooting, hunting and firearms industry, reported a 10 percent jump in gun sales this year based on its analysis of an excise tax placed on firearms and ammunition, and a spokesman said the increase had grown dramatically ahead of the election

“The Glory and the Dream” By William Manchester

glory

Over the decades I have found this book continues to be an amazing read.  I encourage my readers to pick the book up, and discover for themselves the richness within the pages.

The book opens with the Bonus Army camped out in Washington, only to be punished by the military as President Hoover sits in the White House.  Young men are riding the rails, banks are collapsing, and the health of the citizenry decreases due to hunger.   A new President is elected at this time of great distress over the economic meltdown. The outgoing President is trying to get the President-elect to join him to make agreements about fiscal matters, in an effort to tie the new leader’s hands.   There is fear in the land about the future. 

Sound familiar?

There are indeed plenty of similarities between 1932 when FDR took the national stage, and the economic turmoil that helped Barack Obama become the 44th President.

The masterful job of research and writing that William Manchester turned into a highly readable narrative of 4 tumultuous decades (1932-1972) never ceases to amaze me.  I first read this two-volume set (one volume in soft cover) when I was a junior in high school.  A few days before this presidential election I again picked up the book, and find I am deep into the journey of America.   

The charm of the book is that it is not just another history book.  Manchester writes so we know why things occurredsuch as the Bonus Army mess, or the reasons for the dance trends at points along our past.  History’s personalities loom big in these volumes, as do the hopes and angers that leaders exhibit both in public, and behind closed doors.  In 1.300 pages the rich past fills more than our mind, his writing fills our senses.  This is not only history.  This is us! 

As a teenager I was happy to read the book as it put more meat onto the topics that were either highlighted or glossed over in my school classroom.  As an adult while reading over the recent days, I find a nostalgic sense about the past, given all that we have lived through.  Being born in 1962, most of the book is truly history to me.  But the richness of the past, along with the style of writing that makes Manchester a marvel, makes me think that perhaps it I close my eyes I can see FDR with his legs braced, his cape flapping in the wind, and his head cocked upwards to greet us still.

This is a joy of a read.  I hope my readers will soon be making the same statement.

Do ‘Ghost’ Soldiers, Mind-Controlled Guns Only Un-Nerve Me?

I readily admit to having great qualms about the ‘military’.  In all regards, the ‘military’ makes me more nervous than anything else.  When I read the following (hat tip to Jenny) from FAUX News, I again was reminded why I have the feelings I do.  There is just something very unsettling about the ideas advanced here, and the amount of money that will be spent to achieve them.

Self-regenerating body parts. Intelligent “virtual soldiers.” Mind-controlled weapons. Brain “wipes” to purge traumatic memories. “Quantum ghost imaging.”

The U.S. Army’s working on all of these concepts, according to a report on Military.com, a private military-oriented Web site.

“Making science fiction into reality” is the goal, says Dr. John Parmentola, the Army’s director for research and laboratory management.

“You can imagine people who have horrifying memories, it would be great if we could eliminate them so this way they’re not plagued by these memories uncontrollably,” he says, explaining research into cleaning soldiers’ minds of recollections that cause post-traumatic stress disorder.

Salamanders have long been known to grow back fingers and even limbs, and the Army’s trying to figure out how.

“We’re beginning to understand how this occurs and if we can, it holds the hope of, being able to regrow limbs on people,” says Parmentola.

As for “quantum ghost imaging,” it involves the strange but well-documented phenomenon of “twinned” particles that communicate instantaneously — if something happens to one, the other reacts accordingly, no matter how far away.

It’s like having a tracing tool … that goes over the image and that’s connected to another one on a piece of paper that exactly imitates what it is that you are tracing with the other pen,” says Parmentola.

In this way, soldiers, tanks and other military assets could be projected on a battlefield to intimidate the enemy, even though the real objects are far away.

Neural implants fine-tuned to individual soldiers’ brain waves could allow G.I.s to operate equipment with only their thoughts.

Possible Choices For Key Cabinet Positions In Barack Obama White House

Here is a list of possible names for Barack Obama cabinet.

The Reuters list of “possible choices for key Cabinet positions”:

SECRETARY OF DEFENSE
– Defense Secretary Robert Gates was sworn in by outgoing President Bush on Dec. 18, 2006. Obama voted to confirm him. Gates served as CIA director from 1991 until 1993.
– Richard Danzig is a close adviser to Obama. He served as Navy secretary under President Bill Clinton. He also served as Navy undersecretary from 1993 to 1997.

TREASURY SECRETARY
– Lawrence Summers served as Treasury secretary under Clinton. The former president of Harvard University has been a top adviser to Obama.
– Timothy Geithner is president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank. He served as Treasury undersecretary for international affairs during the Clinton administration.

SECRETARY OF STATE
– Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts was the Democratic candidate in the 2004 presidential election. A Vietnam War veteran, he was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1984.
– Sam Nunn is a former senator from Georgia who chaired the Senate Armed Services Committee. Nunn has long been viewed as a leading Democratic voice on foreign policy.
– Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, an outspoken member of the Committee on Foreign Relations, has been a leading Republican critic of the Bush administration’s Iraq invasion. He is retiring from the Senate, having served two terms.

DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET
– Peter Orszag has headed the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office since January 2007. He previously served as an economic adviser to President Clinton.

U.S. TRADE REPRESENTATIVE
– Dan Tarullo is a professor at Georgetown University law school. He is a specialist on trade and international economics. As a senior White House aide to Clinton, he helped prepare for meetings of the Group of Seven industrialized economies.

ATTORNEY GENERAL
– Eric Holder served as deputy Attorney General under Clinton. He has been a senior legal advisor to Obama’s campaign and helped vet Obama’s vice presidential candidates.
– Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, first elected in 2002 and re-elected in 2006, is a former U.S. Attorney. She has been called a pro-business centrist Democrat.

AGRICULTURE SECRETARY
– Tom Vilsack is a former governor of Iowa, an agriculture state carried by Obama. In 2006 he became the first Democrat to announce his candidacy for president. He quickly withdrew and later endorsed Sen. Hillary Clinton. Vilsack is an attorney who specializes in energy conservation, renewable energy and agribusiness development.
– Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, re-elected to a second term in 2006, had been considered a potential running mate for Obama.
– Charles Stenholm, a former Democratic congressman from Texas, was a cotton producer before running for Congress. He followed agricultural issues closely until he lost his seat in the 2004 election.

Saturday Song: Olivia Newton-John “Banks of the Ohio”

Olivia Newton-John is perhaps one of the loveliest faces in the music industry.  She has such striking features, and a voice that is pure gold.  One of her famous hits, “Banks of the Ohio” is today’s Saturday Song.