Thursday, December 31, 2009
Check this out.
O.K., something any of us of a mind can do: Head on over to Tango TV and click "On TV" and from the sub-menu click "TV Listings: Past & Present."
You can go back and check TV schedules going all the way back to 1950!
So... let's see... what was on the day I was born?
Monday May 14, 1962 --
Not much was on that night. In primetime that night the only show I recognize is "The Price Is Right."
(Hell... might as well go through the listings for the first full week of life of your beloved bloghost, William R. Barker.) (*WINK*)
Tuesday May 15, 1962 --
Aahh... another game show on in prime time: "Password." (Oh, wow... Olivia De Havilland and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. were the guests! (Hey... did you folks know that Olivia De Havilland is still alive? She is!)
Aahh... "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" 8:30 p.m. on NBC.
Wednesday May 16, 1962 --
"Wagon Train" 8:00 p.m. on NBC.
"The Bob Newhart (Variety) Show" 10:00 p.m. on NBC.
Thursday May 17, 1962 --
"My Three Sons" 9:00 p.m. on CBS.
"Hazel" 9:30 p.m. on NBC.
"The Untouchables" 10:00 p.m. on ABC.
Friday May 18, 1962
Oooohhh! "The Twilight Zone" 10:00 p.m. on CBS.
Saturday May 19, 1962 --
"Perry Mason" 8:00 p.m. on CBS. (To this day the theme music gives me the creeps...)
"Leave It To Beaver" 8:30 p.m. on ABC. (Wow... I always think of Leave It To Beaver as a '50's show...)
"Have Gun Will Travel" 9:30 p.m. on CBS. (Basically I'm listing programs I'm familiar with and have seen on re-runs which I would have watched "live" had I had the opportunity...)
"Gunsmoke" 10:00 p.m. on CBS.
Sunday May 20, 1962 --
"Lassie" 7:00 p.m. on CBS followed by "Dennis The Menace" at 7:30 p.m. and "What's My Line" at 10:00 p.m.
"The Bullwinkle Show" over at NBC competing against "Lassie" at 7:00 p.m.
"Bonanza" 9:00 p.m. on NBC.
Pretty cool, huh...?!
No doubt I'll do further exploring on Tango TV. No doubt it'll be fun to relive childhood television view memories by browsing through key years... when I was five - off to kindergarten; the middle school years... the high school years...
Feel free to share your favorite TV shows - past and present - with me via the Comments Section of this thread.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Men don't cry...
I cry. In fact, I'm a big softy. I actually get choked up quite easily!
Earlier this morning my friend and mentor John Hicks, who is presently managing the political campaign of "Nan Hayworth for Congress," called me up to ask if I would do him a favor and research and pass on to him some Reagan quotes suitable for the candidate - who like John and I is a huge Reagan fan - to refer to on the campaign trail.
"No problem," I told John; consider it done!
Well, I've since emailed him a selection of Reagan homilies. Mission accomplished!
No... not quite.
You guys know me; I'm not the "bare minimum effort" type. In for a penny, in for a pound - that's my motto! If you're gonna do something... do it right.
Well, I've been browsing various Reagan source material for the past hour or so and while perusing the archives of The Public Papers of President Ronald W. Reagan I found myself sobbing while reading President Reagan's Farewell Address to the Nation, delivered from the Oval Office commencing at 9:02 p.m. eastern standard time, the night of Wednesday, January 11, 1989.
Allow me to highlight the excerpt which "got to me."
Finally, there is a great tradition of warnings in Presidential farewells, and I've got one that's been on my mind for some time. But oddly enough it starts with one of the things I'm proudest of in the past eight years: the resurgence of national pride that I called the new patriotism. This national feeling is good, but it won't count for much, and it won't last unless it's grounded in thoughtfulness and knowledge.
An informed patriotism is what we want. And are we doing a good enough job teaching our children what America is and what she represents in the long history of the world? Those of us who are over 35 or so years of age grew up in a different America. We were taught, very directly, what it means to be an American. And we absorbed, almost in the air, a love of country and an appreciation of its institutions. If you didn't get these things from your family you got them from the neighborhood, from the father down the street who fought in Korea or the family who lost someone at Anzio. Or you could get a sense of patriotism from school. And if all else failed you could get a sense of patriotism from the popular culture. The movies celebrated democratic values and implicitly reinforced the idea that America was special. TV was like that, too, through the mid-sixties.
But now, we're about to enter the nineties, and some things have changed. Younger parents aren't sure that an unambivalent appreciation of America is the right thing to teach modern children. And as for those who create the popular culture, well-grounded patriotism is no longer the style. Our spirit is back, but we haven't reinstitutionalized it. We've got to do a better job of getting across that America is freedom - freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of enterprise. And freedom is special and rare. It's fragile; it needs protection.
So, we've got to teach history based not on what's in fashion but what's important - why the Pilgrims came here, who Jimmy Doolittle was, and what those 30 seconds over Tokyo meant. You know, four years ago on the 40th anniversary of D-Day, I read a letter from a young woman writing to her late father, who'd fought on Omaha Beach. Her name was Lisa Zanatta Henn, and she said, ``We will always remember, we will never forget what the boys of Normandy did.'' Well, let's help her keep her word. If we forget what we did, we won't know who we are. I'm warning of an eradication of the American memory that could result, ultimately, in an erosion of the American spirit. Let's start with some basics: more attention to American history and a greater emphasis on civic ritual.
And let me offer lesson number one about America: All great change in America begins at the dinner table. So, tomorrow night in the kitchen I hope the talking begins. And children, if your parents haven't been teaching you what it means to be an American, let 'em know and nail 'em on it. That would be a very American thing to do.
My God... the Wisdom... the Insight... the Idealism.
What President Reagan saw as a threat in 1989 we know as the reality of 2009.
We reside in The Age of Obama... American Exceptionalism is an ideal scorned by the Left and publicly rejected by the current occupant of the Oval Office.
Can America ever return to The Age of Reagan? I don't know. Honestly... I'm extremely pessimistic.
Almost 21 years ago Ronald Reagan was correctly pointing out that those who at the time were in their childhood years, their teens, their 20's, their early 30's were being raised in a "different America" than the one of earlier generations.
Now... almost 21 years later... those of us who came of age during The Age of Reagan can hardly recognize the present reality and as for our children...
Whether you call it socialism... paternalism... even a "softer, gentler," more benevolent" brand of fascism... the reality is that this nation is turning away from our roots and ideals and the shift is being purposefully driven by those in control of the Democratic Party, of academia, and of course their message is carried and advanced by much of the press and entertainment industry.
Some of you reading this have children, others of you "only" have nieces... nephews... the children of close friends. To those of you who agree with me and share my values... heed the words of President Reagan. Do not be afraid to fulfill your duty as an adult to pass on your knowledge, wisdom, and values to our nation's youth.
I see the Legacy of our Founders slipping away from us. Perhaps we can reverse the tide; perhaps not.
Remember the words of Ronald Reagan when you sit down to dinner tonight.
Live the words of Ronald Reagan wherever and however you can.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
So... I click on Drudge.
From Drudge I click on the following: Federal Government in Washington to be Closed Monday.
Now... I'm in New York. I live about 50 minutes northwest of the GW Bridge.
This morning I had an airport run to do - Newburgh, NY to JFK. The roads were completely clear from my home in Harriman, NY, to Newburgh, and then from Newburgh all the way to JFK - which is in Queens, NY.
Roads clear; bridges clear - the trip from Orange County, NY into Rockland County, NY into Bergen County, NJ, over the GW Bridge into Manhattan, across the East River to the Deegan, down the Deegan to and over the Triborough (now officially the RFK Bridge), down the Grand Central, down the Van Wyck took us... umm... an hour and twenty five minutes maybe... and that was with me taking local NY Route 32 to local NY & NJ Routes 17 as opposed to taking the Palisades Parkway, a major highway.
(Which was clear too by the way - I took it on my way back from the airport because I was heading to a friend's to watch football rather than heading straight home.)
So... as I read our dedicated Washington DC civil servants preparing to enjoy a taxpayer paid snow day tomorrow... as I thought about how insubstantial the storm had amounted to here... I said to myself, "Self! It must be BAD in Washington DC... MUCH worse than here!"
So... I decided to google "live video washington dc" and HERE'S what I came up with:
The Washington D.C. 14th Street Bridge camera.
Black pavement. Lots of black pavement. Follow the links - there are twelve distinct Washington D.C. live traffic camera locations to pick from. All of them have one thing in common: Black Pavement.
Folks... in the great scheme of things giving a few tens of thousands of federal workers a paid snow day isn't going to be the straw that breaks the back of our nation's economy. But isn't it typical of government... snow days when the snow is gone from the roads?
To those of you who will be WORKING for your pay tomorrow - Monday, Dec. 21, 2009 - think happy thoughts.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Short answer: We may end up saving a great deal of money!
As best I understand it, the various Democratic healthcare "reform" plans have two main premises in common:
1) Insurance companies will not be able to deny individuals coverage based on pre-existing conditions;
2) Premiums will be largely "normed" so that your actual medical care needs will be largely irrelevant in terms of the amount of premiums you'll pay.
Do I have this right...??? Is this the basic concept...???
When supporters laud the recently passed House Plan and commend the supposed virtues of the proposed Senate Plan these are the two "selling points" that are most often cited.
Correct...??? Are these not two of the key pro-"reform" talking points advanced by adherents...???
Hey, it gets better! (Or so proponents claim...) Democrats insist that the "reform" proposals will "bend the cost curve" on health insurance/ health care in the public's favor. Just this morning, senior Obama adviser David Axelrod stated in no uncertain terms while debating with critics...
“To defeat a bill that will bend the curve on this inexorable rise in health-care costs is insane,” Axelrod said. "I think that would be a tragic, tragic outcome. I don’t think that you want this moment to pass. It will not come back."
Hmm... so let's see... according to the Democrats, their Plan (in final form at least) will cover insurance seekers with pre-existing conditions - at an affordable price not too far out of line with what their perfectly healthy peers will be paying in premiums - and in tandem with this the nation as a whole will experience positive "cost bending" limiting the previously inexorable rise in health care costs.
Now I don't know about the rest of you... but I don't buy it.
That said, if the Democrats are successful in their push for legislation banning exclusions for pre-existing conditions while also requiring that the insurance companies provide policies upon demand at basically the same premium rate that people without pre-existing conditions are being charged, then William R. and Mary T. Barker will be canceling our existing insurance, going, without; we'll pay the proposed $750 fine, pay out of pocket for our yearly exams and necessary "normal" medical tests, and if (when?) we run into a situation where "they've found something" and expensive tests and hugely expensive treatments are required... well... that's when we'll again sign up for health insurance and receive "coverage" and thus treatment!
Folks... understand the math.
Mary and I presently pay - out of pocket - approximately $800/mo. (add to this our yearly and per visit or per prescription deductibles) in order to "insure" that we're "covered" and thus able to get the best care possible when we require medical treatment.
So... $800 x 12 = $9,600/yr. plus let's low ball deductibles (say $400) = $10,000/yr.
Now... if I understand the Democrat's healthcare "reform" plan - what the House has already passed and what's presently before the Senate - the option they're apparently "offering" (allowing) my wife and I is to simply jettison our present $10,000 yearly health insurance/health care expenses in favor of going without insurance, paying a $750 fine (or if per person fines totaling $1,500) for not having insurance, spending a few hundred dollars (hell... let's "high ball" the estimate - let's say $1,250) for out of pocket routine yearly medicare exams and care, and if at some point in the future an exam turns up a problem... at that point we "opt back in" and purchase an insurance policy at the same premium rate we would have been paying all along!
Sounds like a heck of a deal... for Mary and I!
Under the scenario I've just laid out, we'd be saving thousand of dollars a year! Depending upon whether the fine would be $750 for the two of us (as husband and wife) or $1,500 (each fined separately as individuals) and figuring on out of pocket yearly routine medical expenses of $1,250, we'd be saving at least $7,250 on up to $8,000 (and even more if we don't spend $1,250 on out of pocket routine medical care expenses in a year).
Yes, you can look at it as "scamming the system." That's exactly what Mary and I would both call it! Yet that's what we'll do if the Democrats are stupid and irresponsible to pass legislation that would allow such "gaming the system."
Hey... we'd be stupid not to.
My advice to those of you who don't believe Congress should pass legislation that would allow the sort of scheme I've outlined... well... the first thing I'd suggest you do is call your Member of Congress and ask if such a scenario is possible according to the bill the House passed.
Just for the heck of it I just spent ten minutes on the phone talking to not one, but two staffers of my own Congressman, John Hall (D-NY 19th). Just to let you folks know, neither staffer was willing or able to tell me that my understanding of the House bill allowing such a scenario was incorrect.
If you can get through to the Washington DC or local state office of each of your two United States Senators you might wanna ask the staffers you speak to whether the "Barker Scenario" as outlined is viable. And if they tell you it's not... insist that they cite the specific language in the passed House bill and the specific language in the proposed Senate bill which would disallow individuals from "gaming the system" in the manner I've proposed.
Folks... this is the Age of Obama... the Age of Pelosi and Reid... the Age of Liberal Ascendancy... if you don't believe the Democratic Party is capable of passing legislation with a loophole such as that I've based the premise of this post on...
Make the calls. If you don't get a straight answer from the politicians, call up your local/regional newspaper and suggest that they take a crack at getting to the bottom of this question.
Folks... this is a biggie!
Sunday, December 13, 2009
An op-ed in this weekend's WSJ lays out the case for violent revolut... er... for a peaceful realignment of the political balance of power via the democratic process next November:
When it comes to spending, the Democrats who run Washington can't decide on their message. On the one hand, as President Obama said this week, they claim we have to "spend our way out of this recession." On the other, they keep telling us the deficit is too large and isn't "sustainable." In this tug of political spin, watch what they spend, not what they say.
And recall, folks... the Democrats won control of not just the House, not just the Senate, but BOTH Houses of Congress back in November 2006.
Today is December 13, 2009.
It's now been more than three years since the day the American People kicked out the RINOs
and put in their place to run our national agenda the likes of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Charlie Rangel, John Murtha...
(God help this once great nation; I can't bear to continue listing the rogue's gallery.)
Continuing to excerpt:
And that means watching this weekend's expected Senate vote on a 1,088-page $445 billion "omnibus" package of spending bills to fund the government for fiscal 2010. The House passed a similar elephant earlier this week, allowing federal agency budgets to increase spending by some $48 billion, or about 12% from 2009. That increase—when inflation is negligible—is in addition to the $311 billion in stimulus already authorized or out the door for these programs. Adding this new stash means that federal agencies will have received a nearly 70% increase in the last two years.
Folks...??? You're reading this, right...??? The WSJ isn't making this up; this is America's fiscal reality in the Age of Obama. This is what you get with a Democratic House, Democratic Senate, and a Democrat in the Oval Office.
Returning to the op-ed...
Oh, and that's not all. The President and Congress also want to spend as much as $200 billion more from the Troubled Asset Relief Program on still another stimulus, though this time we are supposed to call it a "jobs" program, because stimulus now has a dirty political name.
After the spending bill, Congress will then turn to passing a $1.8 trillion increase in the national debt ceiling...
In other words, folks, imagine your spouse or your kid is egregiously abusing the credit card you gave them - the one with your name on the account; you're legally responsible for all the spending taking place, you and you alone are legally responsible for the debt and the interest - and instead of taking the credit card away or at least decreasing the credit limit in response to the irresponsible spending you call your credit card company and tell them to INCREASE the spending limit.
Sound nuts...? Crazy? Something you'd never do...
Folks. Congress is taking it upon itself to increase the "national credit limit" in order to further increase spending and debt whether you like it or not.
Oh... and by the way...
Not that the press corps cares anymore, but the omnibus also continues the earmark explosion that Speaker Nancy Pelosi vowed to end when she was trying to oust Republicans in 2006. The Heritage Foundation counts 5,224 earmarks, bringing the total for the year to about 10,000, or about 23 for every Congressional district. There is money for bike paths, skate board parks, museums, water-taxis to resort towns...
(*CLENCHING MY TEETH*)
(*SHAKING MY HEAD IN DESPAIR*)
Folks. Washington is the enemy. Under Bush and the RINOs Congress was screwing us. Under Obama and the Democrats things have gotten worse - much worse.
Just to buttress the point...
$8,677,214,255,313.07 -- This was the national debt on January 3, 2007 - the day before Democrats officially took over control of both Houses of Congress.
$12,115,000,000,000.00 -- And rising...
Folks... math ain't partisan. It just... is.
Friday, December 11, 2009
The Headline: For Feds, More Get Six-Figure Salaries
The sub-headline: Average Pay $30,000 Over Private Sector
Yep. So reports Dennis Cauchon in today's USA Today.
Cauchon's opening salvo --
The number of federal workers earning six-figure salaries has exploded during the recession, according to a USA TODAY analysis of federal salary data.
Federal employees making salaries of $100,000 or more jumped from 14% to 19% of civil servants during the recession's first 18 months - and that's before overtime pay and bonuses are counted.
Federal workers are enjoying an extraordinary boom time - in pay and hiring - during a recession that has cost 7.3 million jobs in the private sector.
Super, huh?! Hey... it's only money! Salaries... benefits... future pension liabilities... pile 'em on!
The article continues --
The highest-paid federal employees are doing best of all on salary increases. Defense Department civilian employees earning $150,000 or more increased from 1,868 in December 2007 to 10,100 in June 2009, the most recent figure available.
Hey... (*SNORT*)... that's only what... a five and a half fold increase? A mere bag of shells!
Here, folks... you'll like this one --
When the recession started, the Transportation Department had only one person earning a salary of $170,000 or more. Eighteen months later, 1,690 employees had salaries above $170,000.
Now that's what I call a stimulus! From one to 1,690... wow. And to think... some folks say there's no Santa...
The trend to six-figure salaries is occurring throughout the federal government, in agencies big and small, high-tech and low-tech.
To anyone reading this who hasn't yet gotten me a Christmas present...
Booze. Just booze. Lots and lots of booze...
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
I was never much enamored in the first place with Minister Huckabee, but the former pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church of Pine Bluff, Arkansas has recently outdone himself in terms of attracting my scorn and derision.
Here. Read this. The man's own words!
The nation was stunned by the senseless and savage cold-blooded murders of four young police officers in Lakewood, Wash., over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Whenever a police officer or soldier is killed, the loss is even more profound, for they are the ones who stand between our way of life and total anarchy.
Nine years ago, the name Maurice Clemmons crossed my desk. I commuted his sentence from 108 years to 47 years. I take full responsibility for my actions of nine years ago. I acted on the facts presented to me in 2000. If I could have possibly known what Clemmons would do nine years later, I obviously would have made a different decision. If I only had the same information I had then, I would make the same decision.
"IF I ONLY HAD THE SAME INFORMATION I HAD THEN, I WOULD MAKE THE SAME DECISION...?!?!
Is this guy nuts...?!?! To borrow a line from the immortal silver screen character United States Marine Gunnery Sergeant Hartman...
WHAT IS YOUR MALFUNCTION, HUCKABEE...?!?!
My God... he would have made the same decision...?!?! (Yes... I've checked... the op-ed is real - it's actually Huckabee - it's not a spoof from The Onion.)
Ever hear of Wayne DuMond? Check out the link provided.
What makes a trend? How about the fact that as governor of Arkansas, Huckabee took it upon himself to issue over 1,000 pardons and commutations - more than his three predecessors combined!
In his non-mea culpa Huckabee reiterates the same empty sentiments I heard him recite on The O'Reilly Factor the other night...
I take full responsibility for my actions of nine years ago.
No... he doesn't! Not by a long shot! Taking responsibility would entail spending the rest of his life making concrete amends to the families of each and every one of those four police officers who career criminal Maurice Clemmons gunned down on November 29, 2009 - a day the friends, family, and colleagues of these murdered police officers will never again recall as "just another day."
You take "full responsibility" Governor Huckabee...? Tell it to the loved ones of
Allow me to ask, are the following the words of a man taking full responsibility?
...I commuted his sentence to the term of 47 years (still a long sentence in comparison to others for the type of crime he had committed), making him parole-eligible. It did not parole him, as governors do not have that power in Arkansas. He would have to separately apply for parole and meet the criteria for it.
Three months after the commutation, Clemmons met the criteria for parole and was paroled to supervision in late 2000.
I can't explain why he wasn't prosecuted properly for the parole violations, or why he was allowed to make bail in Washington and was not incarcerated earlier for crimes committed there. I take responsibility for my actions, but not for the actions of others...
Mike Huckabee makes me sick.
There's simply no other way to put it.
Mike Huckabee wouldn't get my handshake - let alone my vote - if Jesus Himself were to embark upon His Second Coming and announce... as an aside... His support for a Huckabee candidacy!
Certain self-described conservatives and "traditionalists" have and continue to offer Huckabee a pass on his actions. I don't. I won't.
What do you do with a problem named Huckabee? Well... if you're a Republican I'd strongly advise you to draw your own personal line in the political sand: No Huckabee! No way... no how.