Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Last Hurrah...???


Is Pat Buchanan correct? Is it too late...???

By Patrick J. Buchanan --

[This past] Saturday, Glenn Beck packed the [Capital] Mall [of Washington D.C.] with a crowd that could have filled Yankee Stadium to overflowing five times over.

[The crowd] stretched from the Lincoln Memorial to the Washington Monument[.]

Beck's believers and the tea party folks are raising hopes and expectations.

But can they succeed?

"We must not fundamentally transform America, as some would want," said Palin, in one of the direct challenges to Obama. "We must restore America."

But can we restore America, or is the old America gone forever?

Consider the issue that unites all on the Mall on Saturday - the need for the U.S. government to cut spending, to balance its budget and not to shove an immense burden of debt on our children.

Like last year, we are running a deficit of $1.4 trillion, almost 10% of the entire economy. With housing starts and housing sales plunging, jobless claims rising, the stock market sinking and economic growth slowing to a crawl, we will face a new deficit equally large in the fiscal year beginning in October. Where are the victorious tea party Republicans going to cut?

According to USA Today, 50 million Americans are on Medicaid, and perhaps an equal number on Medicare and Social Security. Which of these three will tea party Republicans cut, when Republicans are already denying Democratic charges that they plan to raise the retirement age for Social Security?

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., has a 600-page plan to reform Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and the tax code, the work of a conscientious conservative. But only one in 16 House Republicans has signed on as co-sponsor.

Are Republicans going to go after other entitlements - veterans benefits, earned income tax credits, food stamps - which now go to 41 million Americans, or unemployment benefits that run for 99 weeks?

With the racial achievement gap on test scores returning, will the GOP abolish "No Child Left Behind" or slash federal aid to education?

The big remaining items in the budget are interest on the debt, which must be paid, and war and defense. But Republicans are more likely to be supportive of Obama's rebuilding a military ravaged by war, and staying the course in Iraq and Afghanistan, than are Democrats.

Obama's budget commission will surely come in with tax increases on personal incomes, perhaps also for Social Security and Medicare. But the GOP cannot sign on to these and go home again.

Indeed, how can Republicans cooperate with a president who has spent the campaign blaming them for the Great Recession and telling voters the GOP intends to drag us back to the dark past of Bush II?

And why would a "Party of No" that picks up 40 or 50 House seats by its Alamo defiance become a Kumbaya, "Yes-we-can!" Party and work in happy harness with Barack Obama?

Can we really "restore America" as she once was?

According to The New York Times, Orange County, Calif. - birthplace of Richard Nixon, Goldwater Country, bastion of the John Birch Society, land of the "little old ladies in tennis shoes" - is today a place where less than half the population is Anglo and almost half speak a language other than English in the home.

Where Ronald Reagan beat Jimmy Carter three to one in Orange County, Obama ran a near dead heat with McCain. And as Orange County goes, so goes California and so goes America.

Republicans and Tea Partiers are going to have a glorious fall.

But is this one of the last hurrahs?

Barker's Newsbites: Tuesday, August 31, 2010


W.W.J.B.D?

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Man is an A--hole... (And that's all there is to it...)


O.K., explain to me... why am I wrong is believing as I do?

Transcript...

BRIAN WILLIAMS: "What does it say to you that Glenn Beck was able to draw a crowd of perhaps north of 300,000 people on the anniversary of Dr. King's speech, on the site of Dr. King's speech? Message appeared to be, at times, anti-government, anti-spread of government. Anti-Obama administration. And in favor of - I guess - re-injecting God into both politics and the American discourse."

PRESIDENT OBAMA: "Well, I have to say, I - I did not watch the rally."

Folks... the man is an a--hole. It's really that simple.

You get 300,000 Americans (and I was there; I'd guess far more!) descending upon Washington D.C. for a Rally organized by... er... a radio and talk show host... and this jackass basically says it wasn't on his radar...???

Really?

Really...?!?!

(*SNORT*) (*SIGH*)

O.K., folks... put aside partisanship... lay aside ideology... and think...

You're the President of the United States. You campaigned upon "Hope" and "Change" and "A Whole New Washington."

You're a "Man of the People."

You "Respect All Views."

You're... "Open-Minded."

Here... allow me to continue with President Obama's reply to Brian Williams' (only semi-loaded) question...

President Obama: "I think that one of the wonderful things about this country is that at any given moment any group of people can decide, you know, 'We want our voices heard.' And - and so, I think that Mr. Beck and the rest of those folks were exercising their rights under our Constitution exactly as they should."

Yeah... duh... obviously they have the right! But the larger point our President misses - deliberately it seems to me - is that "they" have the right not only to want their voices heard by the Powers That Be (that's YOU, Mr. President; you and your executive branch appointees and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid and the rest of the leadership of the Democrat-controlled House and Senate), but also WE have a right to demand and expect that you and others in power accept the responsibility to listen to our voices!

Call me biased or naive, but what Obama should have done - if he had half a brain - would have been to invite Beck and Palin and Alveda King and Negiel Big Pond and Tony LaRussa and Raul A. Gonzalez and Charles Jackson and Albert Pujols and Marcus Luttrell and James "Eddie" Wright and Tom Kirk and a bunch of folks right out of the crowd to drop by the White House for a personal chat - recorded and distributed to the press for post-event public airing.

But, no...

(*SIGH*)

Instead what the nation gets is a President who basically admits he doesn't give a good God Damn about discussing any "hope" or "change" that doesn't start and end with "his way or the highway."

You think I'm being silly...???
Well... contrast Barak Hussein Obama's response to Brian Williams' question concerning Beck's "Restoring Honor" Rally compared to the actions of an earlier president... President Richard Milhous Nixon.

Barker's Newsbites: Monday, August 30, 2010


It's a four and a half hour trip from Harriman, NY to Rockville, MD; here's a sample of what we were listening to on the radio...

(*WINK*)

Hee-Haw!

Restoring Honor - August 28, 2010


Well, folks... we're back from D.C.

Nope... didn't get arrested!

I don't know how many hundreds of thousands of people were at the Rally with us, but whatever the number... it was huge!

To give you an idea, we stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn in Rockville-Gaithersburg, Maryland, which is about as far out of "town" (D.C.) as you can get with regard to a metro stop, and when our hotel shuttle dropped us off at Shady Grove Station we then had to get on a line to get in to the station proper. We were in line for almost an hour!

Hey... allow me to give a shout out - kudos - to the fine folks who run the Washington D.C. Metro System. Just as Mary and I were entering the station proper the "powers that be" actually had the gumption and good sense to simply open the entry gates to the platforms and allow people to get on for free so as to get the people on the trains and on their way!

Anyway... you'll read various estimates of the crowd size but my guess is that there were between 300,000 and half a million people there.

Listen... here's what I know because I was there:

We - Mary and I - got off the Red Line at Metro Station. As we walked from the station towards the Washington Monument our fellow rally-goers were approaching the same point from each and every street in sight. By the time we reached the Washington Monument we were part of a huge crowd streaming upon the Monument green heading for the National Mall - the Reflecting Pool area in from of the Lincoln Memorial.

Now if you're familiar with the layout of Washington, D.C., you know that the Washington Monument sits between 15th and 17th Streets "top" and "bottom" and Constitution and Independence Avenues on the "sides."


Once you cross 17th Street you're at the WW-2 Memorial end of the Reflecting Pool with the Lincoln Memorial at the other end and the river "behind" it.

Now understand... the Washington Monument green was not filled with people. It's a big space and there was plenty of room there to spread yourself out on if you didn't want to join the "main" crowd across 17th Street.

Still... we're talking thousands of people on the Washington Monument green who were "attending" the Rally from right there; folks who had brought their chairs and blankets and were obviously there specifically for the Rally.

As to the Reflecting Pool area - that whole "park" area between 17th Street and the river and Constitution and Independence Avenues on the side... that was packed solid! Not only were folks out in the open, but if you check out the map I provided the link to up above you'll see all the "wooded" area; that was packed as well - and frankly I'm not sure that an aerial picture would take note of that fact.

My point...??? Don't believe any spin about "thousands" of people or even "tens of thousands" of people attending; I was there; I'm telling you... there were hundreds of thousands of people there specifically for the Rally.

This was not a "Tea Party" Rally per se. Oh, sure, folks had their "slogan" tee-shirts on and small American flags stuck in their baseball caps and stuff like that, but besides a few - relatively very few - large American flags and "Don't Tread On Me" banners and the like, there were few signs. (Nothing like you'd see at a "regular" political rally!)

Nope. This was a crowd there to listen, not to shout or chant. (Though there was a bit of a "USA-USA" chant when Sarah Palin was up on stage talking about her son in uniform...)

Applause and spirited cheering at appropriate intervals? Yep. Sure. But political chanting... a partisan message... no - not really.

Was it a "religious" Rally? Yeah... in the sense of "Faith, Hope, and Charity" being the theme and the idea that all three of these attributes are key to the "restoration" of American ideals and values.

Was "God" invoked? Yep. Constantly. Jesus...??? Yep... every so often.

Is there anything wrong with that? Nope. Not in my book. Contrary to what some of you may have been (mis)taught, the Founders were by and large men and women of Faith and I have no doubt that they - Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Madison, Abigail Adams, et al - would have been quite comfortable with the "religious" aspect of the Rally.

There were tens of thousands of veterans at the Rally.

There were tens of thousands of children at the Rally.

Hispanics and those of Asian descent... a fair number. Blacks? Very few.

It was depressing how few blacks were at the Rally. I don't know why more didn't come. There's no getting around it - the Rally crowd was overwhelmingly white middle class.

What would the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. have thought of Beck's Restoring Honor Rally...

I truly believe he would have been proud and supportive; I truly believe that MLK was there on Saturday in spirit...

(I know his niece was!)

Beck's Rally was also a huge "Thank You!" to our troops and a fundraiser for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, which provides full scholarship grants and educational and family counseling to the surviving children of Special Operations personnel who die in operational or training missions and immediate financial assistance to severely wounds Special Operations personnel and their families.

Beck's "Restoring Honor" Rally is being credited by SOWF with bringing in over $5 million in direct donations to this fine charity.

What did Mary and I "get" from going to Washington, D.C. to attend the Rally in person? Well... besides a three-day, two-night mini-vacation we got to fellow Rally attendees from as far away as California! We took the opportunity to join with hundreds of thousands of our fellow citizens to make a statement that America is our country and that we want this nation to operate more along the lines of the Republic our Founders bequeathed us than it has in many, many decades.

We there folks more "religious" than us there? Obviously! Were there folks there more "conservative" than us. No doubt! Were there folks there who would disagree with my views on foreign policy and military policy and a host of issues? Yep. Damn straight! But all that aside, these were clearly "our" People. They spent their time... they spent their money... they took part in a moment of history I hope marks the true beginning of a new "Constitutionalist Movement" at the grass roots that will be able to take this nation's present and future back from the hands of the self-serving politicians of both Parties who have laid our nation low.

Is Glenn Beck always right? No. But like yours truly... (*MODEST BOW*)... Beck is "usually" right.

God bless Glenn Beck for what he did!

God bless America...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Barker's Newsbites: Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Amen...

I don't like this war in Afghanistan. I don't like it one damn bit.

We should have gone in there, kicked the crap out of the Taliban, and gotten out.

CIA... Special Forces... black ops supported when and where necessary by overwhelming force... sure.

Tens of thousands of American "boots on the ground"... no!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Is Hamas a Terrorist Organization?


Well let's see...

Hamas Covenant [of] 18 August 1988

Taken from what amounts to the Covenant's preamble:

Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it" (The Martyr, Imam Hassan al-Banna, of blessed memory).

Hmm... that doesn't sound very friendly!

Continuing:

Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious. It needs all sincere efforts. It is a step that inevitably should be followed by other steps. The Movement is but one squadron that should be supported by more and more squadrons from this vast Arab and Islamic world, until the enemy is vanquished and Allah's victory is realized.

Hmm... first "cease to exist" followed by "obliterate"... now "vanquished." (Seems pretty clear how "victory" is to be defined by Hamas.)

Moving on:

Article 2 of the Covenant -- "The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the wings of Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine. Muslim Brotherhood Movement is a universal organization which constitutes the largest Islamic movement in modern times. It is characterized by its deep understanding, accurate comprehension and its complete embrace of all Islamic concepts of all aspects of life, culture, creed, politics, economics, education, society, justice and judgment, the spreading of Islam, education, art, information, science of the occult and conversion to Islam."

Article 3 of the Covenant -- "The basic structure of the Islamic Resistance Movement consists of Muslims who have given their allegiance to Allah whom they truly worship, - I have created the jinn and humans only for the purpose of worshiping - who know their duty towards themselves, their families and country. In all that, they fear Allah and raise the banner of Jihad in the face of the oppressors, so that they would rid the land and the people of their uncleanliness, vileness and evils. But we will oppose truth to vanity, and it shall confound the same; and behold, it shall vanish away." (Prophets - verse 18).

From Article 6 of the Covenant -- "The Islamic Resistance Movement is a distinguished Palestinian movement, whose allegiance is to Allah, and whose way of life is Islam. It strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine, for under the wing of Islam followers of all religions can coexist in security and safety where their lives, possessions and rights are concerned. In the absence of Islam, strife will be rife, oppression spreads, evil prevails and schisms and wars will break out."

So much for a two-state solution. The "banner of Allah" is to be raised "over every inch of Palestine." (Hamas considers Israel to be Palestine.)

From Article 7 of the Covenant -- "The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the links in the chain of the struggle against the Zionist invaders. It goes back to 1939, to the emergence of the martyr Izz al-Din al Kissam and his brethren the fighters, members of Muslim Brotherhood. It goes on to reach out and become one with another chain that includes the struggle of the Palestinians and Muslim Brotherhood in the 1948 war and the Jihad operations of the Muslim Brotherhood in 1968 and after."

Ibid -- "Moreover, if the links have been distant from each other and if obstacles, placed by those who are the lackeys of Zionism in the way of the fighters obstructed the continuation of the struggle, the Islamic Resistance Movement aspires to the realization of Allah's promise, no matter how long that should take."

Ibid -- "The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said: The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O
Muslims, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, (evidently a certain kind of tree) would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews." (Related by al-Bukhari and Muslim).

Hey... folks... this is Yale Law School's English translation copy of the Covenant; don't blame me that it says what it says!

From Article 8 of the Covenant -- "Jihad is its path and death for the sake of Allah is the loftiest of its wishes."

Again, folks... the message is what it is; I'm just the messenger.

From Article 9 of the Covenant -- "As for the objectives [of the Islamic Resistance Movement]: They are the fighting against the false, defeating it and vanquishing it so that justice could prevail, homelands be retrieved and from its mosques would the voice of the mu'azen emerge declaring the establishment of the state of Islam, so that people and things would return each to their right places and Allah is our helper.

"Fighting... Defeating... Vanquishing..." (*SHRUG*)

From Article 11 of the Covenant -- "The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future
Muslim generations until Judgment Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. Neither a single Arab country nor all Arab countries, neither any king or president, nor all the kings and presidents, neither any organization nor all of them, be they Palestinian or Arab, possess the right to do that. Palestine is an Islamic Waqf land consecrated for Muslim generations until Judgment Day. ... This is the law governing the land of Palestine in the Islamic Sharia (law) and the same goes for any land the Muslims have conquered by force, because during the times of (Islamic) conquests, the Muslims consecrated these lands to Muslim generations till the Day of Judgment. ... Any procedure in contradiction to Islamic Sharia, where Palestine is concerned, is null and void."

Any questions, kids...???

From Article 12 of the Covenant -- "Nationalism, from the point of view of the Islamic Resistance Movement, is part of the religious creed. Nothing in nationalism is more significant or deeper than in the case when an enemy should tread Muslim land. Resisting and quelling the enemy become the individual duty of every Muslim, male or female. A woman can go out to fight the enemy without her husband's permission, and so does the slave: without his master's permission."

(*SHRUG*)

From Article 13 of the Covenant -- "Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement."

Ibid -- "Nationalism of the Islamic Resistance Movement is part of its religion. Its members have been fed on that. For the sake of hoisting the banner of Allah over their homeland they fight."

Ibid -- "There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors."

From Article 14 of the Covenant -- "[L]iberation of Palestine is then an individual duty for every Muslim wherever he may be."

From Article 15 of the Covenant -- "The day that enemies usurp part of
Muslim land, Jihad becomes the individual duty of every Muslim. In face of the Jews' usurpation of Palestine, it is compulsory that the banner of Jihad be raised. To do this requires the diffusion of Islamic consciousness among the masses, both on the regional, Arab and Islamic levels. It is necessary to instill the spirit of Jihad in the heart of the nation so that they would confront the enemies and join the ranks of the fighters. It is necessary that scientists, educators and teachers, information and media people, as well as the educated masses, especially the youth and sheikhs of the Islamic movements, should take part in the operation of awakening (the masses).

Ibid -- "It is important that basic changes be made in the school curriculum, to cleanse it of the traces of ideological invasion that affected it as a result of the orientalists and missionaries who infiltrated the region following the defeat of the Crusaders at the hands of Salah el-Din (Saladin)."

Ibid -- "It is necessary to instill in the minds of the
Muslim generations that the Palestinian problem is a religious problem, and should be dealt with on this basis. Palestine contains Islamic holy sites. In it there is al- Aqsa Mosque which is bound to the great Mosque in Mecca in an inseparable bond as long as heaven and earth speak of Isra` (Mohammad's midnight journey to the seven heavens) and Mi'raj (Mohammad's ascension to the seven heavens from Jerusalem)."

Ibid -- "The bond of one day for the sake of Allah is better than the world and whatever there is on it. The place of one's whip in Paradise is far better than the world and whatever there is on it. A worshiper's going and coming in the service of Allah is better than the world and whatever there is on it." (As related by al-Bukhari, Moslem, al-Tarmdhi and Ibn Maja).

Ibid -- "I swear by the holder of Mohammad's soul that I would like to invade and be killed for the sake of Allah, then invade and be killed, and then invade again and be killed." (As related by al-Bukhari and
Muslim).

Are you sensing a bit of a... er... theme, here, folks...???

From Article 28 of the Covenant -- "Israel, Judaism and Jews challenge Islam and the
Muslim people. May the cowards never sleep."

From Article 30 of the Covenant -- "Writers, intellectuals, media people, orators, educators and teachers, and all the various sectors in the Arab and Islamic world - all of them are called upon to perform their role, and to fulfill their duty, because of the ferocity of the Zionist offensive and the Zionist influence in many countries exercised through financial and media control, as well as the consequences that all this lead to in the greater part of the world. Jihad is not confined to the carrying of arms and the confrontation of the enemy. The effective word, the good article, the useful book, support and solidarity - together with the presence of sincere purpose for the hoisting of Allah's banner higher and higher - all these are elements of the Jihad for Allah's sake."

From Article 31 of the Covenant -- "Under the wing of Islam, it is possible for the followers of the three religions - Islam, Christianity and Judaism - to coexist in peace and quiet with each other."

Ahh! Now that sounds promising...

Unfortunately...

Ibid -- "Peace and quiet would not be possible except under the wing of Islam. ... It is the duty of the followers of other religions to stop disputing the sovereignty of Islam in this region..."

(*SHRUG*)

From Article 34 of the Covenant -- "Expansionists have more than once put their eye on Palestine which they attacked with their armies to fulfill their designs on it. Thus it was that the Crusaders came with their armies, bringing with them their creed and carrying their Cross. They were able to defeat the
Muslims for a while, but the Muslims were able to retrieve the land only when they stood under the wing of their religious banner, united their word, hallowed the name of Allah and surged out fighting under the leadership of Salah ed-Din al-Ayyubi. They fought for almost twenty years and at the end the Crusaders were defeated and Palestine was liberated. ... This is the only way to liberate Palestine. There is no doubt about the testimony of history. It is one of the laws of the universe and one of the rules of existence. Nothing can overcome iron except iron."

Well, folks... there you have it. Feel free to read the full document for yourselves. I've given you the highlights.

Barker's Newsbites: Tuesday, August 24, 2010


While I find it hard to believe that somehow I've never featured this song as a newsbites daily theme, fact is, it's not indicated as having been featured here before now.

One of my favorites...!

Monday, August 16, 2010

So... when's the last time you got new tires?


Have you been tire shopping lately?

Tires are expensive. Not only are tires expensive... but with sales taxes, mandated tire disposal fees, etc., etc., blah, blah, blah... we're talking a pretty penny above and beyond list price.

Now not that I'd ever suggest... er... outwitting our benevolent government overlords, but...

The next time you're in the market for tires, might I suggest considering out of state mail order?

Oh, sure... no doubt you'll pay $10/$15 per tire for shipping... but do the math...

What would you pay in sales tax at your preferred brick and mortar tire dealer?

What would they charge you for state mandated tire disposals fees - accessed on the sale of the new tire(s) even if you insist that you'll "dispose" of the tires you're replacing yourself?

Here in Orange Country, NY I would pay sales tax of 8.125% plus a $5 state mandated tire disposal charge - per tire!

So... let's say I go to Sears... I purchase four BFGoodrich Advantage T/A 225/16R18 tires at $129 per tire.

So... (129.00 times 8.125)... my cost is now $139.48 per tire.

Add $5 per tire to deal with the state tire disposal mandate... I'm now at $144.48 per tire.

Then there's installation (mounting, balancing, valve stems)... also taxed at 8.125...

Throw in an alignment at $69.99 plus tax...

(*SIGH*)

Now compare and contrast to mail order.

Let's say you could purchase the same exact tire for... oh... $98.80 per tire.

(You've just saved $30.20 per tire... $120.80 saved right off the bat on a four tire purchase!)

As for taxes... based upon the Sears brick and mortar price... you're also avoiding $41.92 in taxes.

No $5.00 per tire disposal fee... (That's another $20 you've just saved...)

So... where are we? Oh, yeah... $128.80 + $41.92 + $20 = Total savings so far... $190.72

You may be asking yourself at this point, "but what about getting the damned tires on the car?!"

Never fear my friends! Your local Walmart will mount, balance, and install your four new tires for $30! (Plus tax I believe.) Had you bought your tires at Sears... they charge $45 for the same exact service plus $3.99 per valve stem.

(So... to our initial $190.72 in savings via mail mail order direct add $15... we're now ahead by over two hundred bucks - $205.72 to be precise!)

Hey... almost forgot... (gotta be fair here!) -- Shipping charges. What about shipping charges...???

Well... just for argument's sake... just pulling a number... er... out of a hat... let's assign - randomly of course - a shipping cost of $56.44 to our... er... theoretical scenario.

$190.72 minus $56.44 equals... $134.28 total savings!

Not bad!

(Oh... plus... "some" people have been known to go to their local mechanic's shop and get an alignment which Sears charges $69.99 for - plus tax - for... oh... say $50 cash.)

Now God forbid someone get the... er... wrong idea... and assume I'm proposing an end run around Uncle Sam and his state and local co-taxers, let me just assure all readers...

Bill Barker firmly believes we should all meet our legal tax obligations.

God bless America, my friends...

Barker's Newsbites: Monday, August 16, 2010


Soothing music for the contemplative mind...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Weekend Newsbites: Sat. & Sun., August 14 & 15, 2010


Well, I'm not really in the mood for newsbites today; my best friend's dad - a guys who was one of my "second fathers" - passed away on Friday.

Still... I'll give it a shot.

Harold Curtis VanDemark


Harold Curtis VanDemark
Born: January 6, 1935
Passed On: August 13, 2010

R.I.P.

"Pops" was a good guy.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Vernon Baker


Our country is broken.

If you don't believe me... read this.

Now... read this.

Here, folks... let's all read (re-read) the news from Boise, Idaho:

U.S. Rep. Walt Minnick is donating his frequent flier miles to the widow of Medal of Honor recipient Vernon Baker so she can attend his burial at Arlington National Cemetery.

Now no disrespect to Congressman Minnick, but while it's... er... nice of him to be willing to share his frequent flier miles (accrued via his official flights courtesy of the taxpayer I'm assuming) with the widow of an American hero, call me crazy, but I'd like to think that it would be standard operating procedure for the Pentagon to provide transportation in a case such as this.

Let's recap:

Vernon Joseph Baker's official Medal of Honor citation reads --

For extraordinary heroism in action on 5 and 6 April 1945, near Viareggio, Italy.

Then Second Lieutenant Baker demonstrated outstanding courage and leadership in destroying enemy installations, personnel and equipment during his company's attack against a strongly entrenched enemy in mountainous terrain.

When his company was stopped by the concentration of fire from several machine gun emplacements, he crawled to one position and destroyed it, killing three Germans. Continuing forward, he attacked an enemy observation post and killed two occupants. With the aid of one of his men, Lieutenant Baker attacked two more machine gun nests, killing or wounding the four enemy soldiers occupying these positions. He then covered the evacuation of the wounded personnel of his company by occupying an exposed position and drawing the enemy's fire.

On the following night Lieutenant Baker voluntarily led a battalion advance through enemy mine fields and heavy fire toward the division objective.

Second Lieutenant Baker's fighting spirit and daring leadership were an inspiration to his men and exemplify the highest traditions of the Armed Forces.

You'd think... you'd hope... that a grateful nation could at least provide the man's wife, daughter, and grandson with appropriate transportation - and meals, lodging, and incidental expenses - so as to allow them to attend Vernon Baker's internment at Arlington.

God help this once great nation...

I'm literally trying - and failing - to hold back the tears as I type this...


Barker's Newsbites: Thursday, August 12, 2010


What ever happened to HAPPY music?!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Barker's Newsbites: Monday, August 9. 2010


This is our America... please, God, don't let us lose it...

* Please Note: There's apparently a technical glitch effecting comments posted on certain Blogspot blogs - including mine. Please bear with me...

** OK... I may have found a fix. Note, there are (or at least should be!) nine Barker Newsbites within the Comments Section of this thread. None have the customary links to the original source material attached. Apparently the links themselves are causing the glitch - causing comments to simply disappear shortly after being posted. My "fix" is therefore to post the links here on the thread post itself in the same order as you'll find the comments.

Comments 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Barker's Newsbites: Friday, August 6, 2010


Do you remember when America was... America?

I do.

I miss it. I miss my country.

Remember when competence, the "can do" spirit was the norm... simply expected?

I do.

As you watch and listen to today's Newsbites theme video, ask yourself... have we lost something... is something missing?

I remember watching Man first walk on the moon back in '69.

(Thank you Uncle Art and Aunt Fran making sure 7 year old "Billy" was out of bed and seated on the floor in front of the console color TV in the living room of your Mt. Marion home so as to witness the historic event broadcast live!)

Think about it, folks... July 20th, 1969... forty-one years ago!

Folks... we were supposed to be spreading throughout the solar system by now - bases on the Moon, manned missions to Mars, perhaps mining the moons of Jupiter...

Instead... we have the iPhone.

(*SIGH*)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Barker's Newsbites: Wednesday, August 4, 2010


So... it's been almost a week since my last post!

Well... a weekend with Ted and Mary will do that...

(*GRIN*)

Wow... what would the brewery, distillery, and winery industries do without us - never mind butcher shops, grocery stores, bars and restaurants!

I've gotta tell ya... yeah, it's good to be us... but, man, it's exhausting...!!!

So, anyway... happy Wednesday to you all; back to the grind.