Aftermath of Irene: Scenes from Vermont


Bullseye: The Archer with the Attitude

A brief clip from the forthcoming Hunger Games flick which is based on the dystopian novel for young readers (which I blogged about here).



From Mike Cutler: "I will be a guest on the Lou Dobbs Radio Show this afternoon at about 2:15 pm Eastern Daylight Savings Time.

Dom Giordano will be filling in for Lou.

We will be discussing the [Obama] administration's immigration policies, and the impact these policies have on our nation and our citizens."

Honey, I Shrunk the Middle Class

A must, must, must read blog entry about our 'collapsing' middle class. Go here. The blogger offers two job tips: Learn to drive a big rig, or move to North Dakota.

Upward mobility? The potential still exists here ... but in reality? Not so much.


Sun. Inspiration: The Uncommon Mr. Dungy

Americans who follow football - and more than a few who don't - have heard of Tony Dungy, the Indianapolis Colts head coach who led his team to a Super Bowl in 2007. There was more than the usual hype surrounding this victory, because he was the first black coach to do so.

Dungy also has a reputation as an evangelical Christian who walks the walk. As a coach he was known for his calm, well-spoken manner - never swearing or yelling at players or stomping his feet at a referee or living a bling-filled life.

Sadly, he and his wife, Lauren, also endured a terrible tragedy in 2005 when James Dungy (the eldest son) committed suicide.

Talk about extreme ups and downs.

Tony Dungy is now retired from football. He spends his time helping charitable organizations, mentoring young men (like Michael Vick), sharing his testimony, and writing practical self-help books, like Uncommon, Finding Your Path to Significance.

I highly recommend his books for young people in need of moral guidance about relationships, faith, and character. They are easy to read (or to listen to), practical, wholesome, and well-written.


Saturday Sighting: Apples

There's a wild, gnarly apple tree in that forest.

C'mon. Get closer.


I think these (which are ubiquitous) are Honeycrisps. Food for the deer.

What's your favorite apple? Cortland, Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Mac, iPad, iPod ....


Fri. Fun: Letter-to-the-Editor Explains Principal Difference Between Democrats & Republicans

To the Bulletin:

The battle lines in the United States are drawn, and the objectives of each side are very clear.

Political party No. 1: Bring democracy back to America.

Political party No. 2: Dismantle the U.S. government and replace it with powerful corporations.

Which country do you want for your grandchildren?

Nancy Kinney

TCC note: This letter actually ran in a weekly newspaper. At least, she was succinct.

Friday Fun: A Self-Evident Truth


Karen K. Running for Congress in Virginia

If you are a regular (or, even, occasional) reader to Lew Rockwell's zine, you know that Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski (a Pentagon whistleblower) is a contributor to the current events site.

But did you know that Karen (pictured, right) is now running for Congress in Virginia's 6th district?

She is the GOP primary challenger to Congressman Bob Goodlatte who voted to raise the debt ceiling (but is strong on immigration enforcement).

Here's part of her platform:

· End unnecessary military occupations, close unneeded military bases, stop buying unneeded and expensive weapons systems from a bloated and non-competitive defense industry.

· Reduce government spending by first auditing, and soon, eliminating the Federal Reserve, as the lender of first and last resort for an undisciplined Congress.

· Eliminate duplicative and unconstitutional agencies, regulatory boards, departments and counterproductive programs across the federal government, sending the resources and authority to the states where they belong.

· Fight for and defend the Constitution and its first ten amendments from any infringement, no matter how slight, called for by any individual, organization, or governing body. Period.

· I will be a devoted and active member of the Liberty Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Ron Paul's long lost daughter!


No Earth-Shaking Events, Here ...

... just another day ... watching geese catch a wave

(Twilight at the Thorne Swift Nature Preserve in Harbor Springs)


Rep. Benishek Holds Court, Today

Topic: General
Official: Rep. Dan Benishek (R-MI 1st)
When: 08/23/2011
Starts: 02:00 PM
Until: 03:00 PM
Where: Rep. Dan Benishek's Office
200 Division Street
Suite 178
Petoskey, MI 49770

A great opportunity to, respectfully, quiz the congressman about that debt ceiling vote of his.

Cookie Carts, State Income Taxes, & Gov't Reform

A former boss of mine interviews a former neighbor of mine. Go here.

Liberals Stunned to Learn That There's More to Sweden Than Stieg Larsson Novels and IKEA Furniture

Claiming this is a common practice in her country, a Swedish mother left her baby, alone, in a stroller outside an Amherst, MA burrito eatery's courtyard, for ten minutes, in broad daylight. The cops were called; pandemonium broke out. (The tot was not harmed; no charges have been filed against the mum.)

This casual treatment of a wee tot (even in some 'safe' European city where people are largely walkers, not drivers) is deplorable. Worse, has this woman not noticed the seedy characters that often traverse - at all hours - that courtyard? I wouldn't leave a 9-year-old alone there.

But the issue that has many chattering about this multicultural imbroglio is this: Is it the type of parental neglect that merited calling law enforcement and social service personnel?

It is interesting to notice that it was the we-are-the-world denizens of Amherst (who continually mount the soapbox to lecture the rest of us rubes about the need to be 'culturally sensitive') that went all Big Brother on this hapless foreigner.

Conversely, the Swedish mother has learned some lessons in cultural differences herself: Never leave a babe unattended in a public place in the good ol' USA (yes!), and American cops who carry guns are supposed to be intimidating (yes!).

Cute little guy. Glad he's ok.

Photo credit: Larry K.


Sat. Sighting: Breitbart on Univision

Andrew Breitbart's interview with Jorge Ramos, about making the English language the official language (of government business), esta muy bueno.

Andres, you should launch a Big Multiculturalism web site.


Friday Fun: Warrior

Fun fact: The genial gentleman who published The Homeschooling Revolution is a Mixed Martial Arts guru.

For that reason I'm intrigued by this upcoming film where a science teacher/family man fights a Marine for a huge monetary prize. The twist: The educator and the ex-soldier are brothers who don't get along. The question: Which one will be crowned 'the toughest guy on the planet'?

Release date: September 9.


Coming Upon a Great Blue Heron

My first time encountering a heron along Lake Michigan.

As we say around here, "Go blue!"


Asters and Mums: Fall is Coming!

Autumn strikes me as the best season to engage in some purposeful woolgathering.

This kind of woolgathering, as well as this kind.


Work of Art: Anderson Mobile Estates

There's no recession or economic turndown for the well-to-do folks that can afford these luxury trailers. Like Ashton.


Gaylord's 108-acre Wapiti Park

Embracing the New Girl Order.

Hey, is this the Order of the Elks meeting place?

Yo, wildlife paparazzo. Na-na na-na boo-boo!

Dear Dan Benishek

My congressman explains why he voted for the Budget Control Act.

Dr. Dan writes, "I chose a different path based on what I thought would best promote jobs in Northern Michigan. My vote reflected a strong concern of what a possible government default could do to Northern Michigan’s already fragile job market."

He adds, "Although the bill does not contain the level of spending reductions I would have liked to see, it does make a significant down payment on America’s growing federal deficit. The bill reduces the deficit by $917 billion over the next decade and establishes a mechanism to reduce another $1.2 trillion in savings before the end of the year."

My response: How does going further into debt help anybody in northern Michigan create jobs? The people that we, the people, have to give this money to are the people we owe money to (e.g. the Chinese, the Fed). The proposed savings are barely drops in a huge federal bucket. Nothing is quote, unquote, cut. Increases are barely reduced. Default was not an option. (Dr. Dan if you believe that, you've been smoking medical marijuana.)

Bottom line: Obama got what he wanted; business as usual in Washington, D.C.


Charles Butler: "Multiple wars, illegal immigration costs, foreign aid and pork-barrel projects are just the beginning of looking for ways to curb excessive spending."


Sunday Inspiration: Genesis 1:24

"And God said, 'Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.' And it was so."

P.S. I will post more photos, tomorrow, from my visit to Gaylord's (MI) Elk Park.


Friday Fun: Hummingbirds!

This is my first summer hanging a hummingbird feeder.

Well whaddya know? They do work. (I was a skeptic.) Earlier this week, I grabbed my phone and managed to snap one of my 'customers' (below the feeder, on the right), as he or she was flitting toward the sugar water.

Update: 'Nother photo.


Cheboygan MI Tea Party and Me

At the kind invite of Steph Jacobson, I will be speaking, tonight, to local patriots about the 'homeschooling movement.'

Cheboygan is located on Lake Huron (if you are unfamiliar with the city).

I will, briefly, bring up this "Contract for the American Dream" video.

A creation of MoveOn.org and Van Jones.


Max Hastings: 'Feral Children'

This column, about England's young rioters, written by a Brit, is a tour de force.

This ditty comes to mind:

"London Bridge is falling down,
Falling down, falling down.
London Bridge is falling down,
My fair lady."


Spenditol: Washington D.C.'s Miracle Drug

The political ad below, put out by Concerned Women for America, is lighthearted and hard-hitting. It was also material for my latest column at the Belgrade News, since U.S. Senator Jon Tester's re-election campaign team wasn't amused by the Montana version of the ad.

Harry Reid and the Order of the Pomegranate

Thanks to the Havre Daily Corrector for alerting me to this Dingy Harry clip.

Crank up the volume, as the slip-of-a-senator is hard to hear.


Thank you, Michael Nutter, for Mayoring Up

He didn't blame the flash mob problem in Philly on the Tea Party or the rich or on spending cuts. Read his remarkable statement.

Mayor Nutter


Encountering the Little Turkeys

Mama is taking good care of her growing poults. Last time I saw them they were itty-bitty ... adorable how they stick together.

City Slicker Update: Residents of Springfield, MASS call their local television station and animal control when they spot a wild turkey in their backyards.

Taking on Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Investigative journalist Radley Balko valiantly makes the case to abolish drunk driving laws. He correctly notes the cash cow that DUI's have become for the judicial system. Note: He does not support driving while drunk.

Here's his blog post on the topic, and the comments it generated.


Sat. Sighting: The Strict Constructionist

~ The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. ~
Daniel Webster

Don Powers is an attorney and a modern patriot. Here he is teaching a class, about the Constitution, at the H&H Shooting Sports Complex in Oklahoma City. He also writes a regular column about constitutional principles/the founding documents.

My amigo Charlie Meadows pronounces Don's columns on state sovereignty and the Tenth Amendment, "Excellent."

Photo reprinted with permission/D.Powers


Fri. Fun: Ogle a Zucchini, Not a Kardashian

A gift from Rosemary R.'s garden. Fried potatoes and zucchini? Baked zucchini with olive oil? Zucchini bread?

Keeping it real: Vegetable in photo has not been airbrushed.

Priceless: Students Just Not That Into Athletic Affirmative Action

At UC/Riverside, Oliver Darcy, who is affiliated with Exposing Leftists, tries to get students (who say they support affirmative action) to sign a petition aimed at promoting racial parity on the men's baskeball team.

Hat tip: SeƱor Pared


Bankrupt: Central Falls, Rhode Island

File under: Those selflessish public servants.

USA Today summarizes what happened when this community (located near Beantown) maxed out the credit card: "[State-appointed receiver Robert] Flanders had earlier indicated that seeking Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection in federal court might be the only option unless municipal retirees and city workers made major voluntary concessions. Retirees, for instance, were asked to take cuts of up to 50% to their pensions, a move they did not accept ahead of last Thursday's deadline, set by Flanders."

This is the first community in the Ocean State to ever file a bankruptcy petition. Central Falls has a population of 19,000, and it was once a textile, blacksmithing, and gun manufacturing center, according to Boston.com.

Now the little city is going to have to 'borrow' the municipal services of nearby communities. What a mess.

Almost a Year and a Half Later

David Zickl is the photographer who snapped this memorable photo of Arizona rancher Robert Krentz, and his brother, Phil, in a tack room.

Here's what David blogged about this assignment: "In the summer of 2005, I had the good fortune to be given an assignment to photograph a group of 3rd and 4th generation ranch families in Cochise County. Families like the Glenns, Kimbles, McDonalds, Snures, the Krentzs had lived along the southern Arizona border for over 100 years. Their great grandfathers and grandfathers had homesteaded over 1,000,000 acres of cattle land and they are determined to preserve their vanishing way of life. Together they formed the Malpai Borderlands Group, a grassroots, landowner-driven nonprofit organization attempting to implement ecosystem management on nearly one million acres of virtually unfragmented open-space landscape in southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico."

You can imagine how shocked Mr. Zickl was when he learned of Rob's death (murdered, on his property, on March 27th, 2010 by a suspected illegal alien).

Rob's killer has not been caught, but a reward fund has been established.

The Malpai Borderlands Group has established a scholarship in Rob's honor.

And the border? Unsecure as ever.


Dr. Paul's Slick Debt Ceiling Ad

If you missed it ...

Carnival of Homeschooling

Henry Cate, a committed homeschool dad, started these carnivals awhile back. Here's #292, an arts and crafts edition.

Mr. Reed Captures the Zeitgeist

Fred gets stoked about the debt ceiling debate. Caveat: On the bawdy side.

Update: Sad to see these conservatives (and new kids on the block) that went squishy on this important vote ... Lou Barletta, Dan Benishek (my congressman), James Lankford, Sean Duffy, Allen West, and Kristi Noem.

A Thumbs-Up for Oin's Beard

From Joe Hession: "For those of you mildly interested, the team that brought us the Lord of the Rings movies (Sir Peter Jackson et. al.) are hard at work making a two- part adaption of The Hobbit, the first film being due out next year. If you've read the book, then you will probably appreciate the link below which shows all the dwarves as conceived by what has got to be one of the best design teams in the film business. If you don't like any spoilers or don't care, just ignore this. Otherwise, click away."

Behold, Thorin and Company ...

The blog.

Sidebar: The actor that loaned his talents to help create Gollum (and will be involved in the directing of The Hobbit) is in the upcoming Rise of the Planet of the Apes sci-fi movie. A scene featuring the versatile Andy Serkis.

Update: Of tea parties and hobbits, a political cartoon.

Adidas' Metro Sackpack

The sackpack is a light backpack. I bought one like the one pictured (although mine is bright pink) and couldn't be more pleased with the price ($15) and the roominess.

No, Adidas doesn't know I'm hawking its products. I'm just hard wired to appreciate a bargain (and, apparently, to blog about it).


Dangerous Liaisons: Sugar Daddies and Debt-Ridden Students

Selling your body (and soul) to pay off student loans and/or afford college? You have got to be kidding.

Of GLSEN, Wolves, & the DPRK

1. Predators and their enablers. GLSEN - the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network - has been awarded a generous grant ($285,000) from the federal government to set up "safe spaces" in public schools. CNSNews has the very disturbing story.

2. Predators and their enablers. Interesting article about Michigan's growing wolf population.

But this line from a state biologist Jennifer Kleitch is so PC: “The future for wolves in the northern Lower Peninsula is uncertain at this time,” she said. “Their future depends heavily on public acceptance and tolerance."

3. Predators and their enablers. The prolific writer Doug Bandow argues against giving government-funded food aid to North Korea. Instead he says that the Obama administration "should leave aid to private organizations. Any food assistance risks buttressing the regime."