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WHERE IS OBAMA’S MONEY COMING FROM?

 

I’ve hesitated to speculate where Barack Obama has garnered his enormous record-setting mountain of campaign funds. His change of heart ( better known as flip-flop) from vowing to accept public funding, to vowing to rejecting it, was undoubtedly triggered by an awakening that money would continue to pour in from the private sector like Niagra Falls until the election is over.

Poor black communities? Doubtful. Movie stars, rock stars and generous liberal moguls, perhaps, but that wouldn’t assemble that much continuous cash on hand. Pro-choicers? Some, perhaps. Besides refusing public funds, Obama has also vowed that he will not accept donations from special interest groups as well.

Interesting to note; more than half of his $400 million has come from private donors sending under $200. The war chest is almost double that of John Kerry’s in 2004.

We do know that the Islamic world, not only inside the U.S., is licking their chops to see Obama elected. Some have openly declared their interest in seeing him win the Oval Office. Not only American Muslims ( www.muslimsforobama08.com ) but Palestinians overseas have formed phone banks to raise money for his campaign. Click here: Amanda Carpenter :: Townhall.com

What don’t we know? …

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THE PROS AND CONS OF SARAH PALIN

 

I figured it would be Sen. Kay Hutchinson of Texas, or Christine T. Whitman of New Jersey, both conservative republicans and both women. Well, I was partly right, he picked a woman. But I never thought Sarah Palin, in my wildest imagination.

Whether it was a good choice or not, John McCain has done what he’s best known for: thinking outside the box, being a maverick, doing the least expected.

Like most folks who follow politics, I’ve done some homework. This is what I see as the pros and cons of her nomination.

THE CONS:  

 * Experience. That’s a no-brainer. The Obama pundits will certainly seize upon her less than two-year reign as a state governor, which follows a six-year mayoral stint and four as a town councilwoman. McCain’s emphasis on Obama’s lack of experience thus becomes nullified.

* Strong pro-life. Half of the voting populous is pro-choice.

* Too young. John F. Kennedy was younger when he took the oath of office. Obama is only three years older.

* Too many domestic responsibilities with five kids, one of whom has Down Syndrome.

* Far right wing conservative. This is only negative to those who are far left wing liberal.

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SHIPPING PIRATES POSE A DEADLY THREAT

In May of this year, a Danish tugboat operator named Colin Darch was piloting his craft out of the Red Sea when heavily armed pirates approached in two small boats and began screaming and firing weapons. Though he made a gallant attempt to resist, the thugs boarded the tugboat and took the crew hostage for six weeks until a ransom was paid by the company’s owners, reportedly at $700,000. Interviewed later, Darch said his “heart sank” when the assault began.

In April, the French luxury yacht, Le Ponant, was seized off the coast of Somalia where thirty people were taken hostage. A reported two million dollars in ransom money was paid for their release.

According to the International Maritime Bureau, seventy-one vessels have been boarded in the first six months of 2008, 190 crew members were taken hostage, seven were killed and another seven are missing, and presumed dead. Over 2,463 acts of piracy were committed around the world between 2000 and 2006. Their goal: food and supplies targeted as foreign aid, cash, personal belongings of passengers, and ransom money. The most hazardous routes are along the Nigerian and Somali coastlines of Africa, Indonesia and the Gulf of Aden …

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A Fathers Day Offering

Happy Birthday, Dads.

Father’s Day is officially 100 years old. It was first celebrated in the State of Washington in June of 1908, and then in Fairmont, West Virginia. Mother’s Day was already celebrated one month earlier, also in West Virginia. While President Calvin Coolidge recommended it as a national holiday, it wasn’t until 1972 that President Nixon signed the order.

Having been a father several times since 1960, and now grandfather of their kids, I have always enjoyed the recognition and love they have bestowed on me, even if it only meant a thoughtful card in the mail or a long distance call. It’s that one time of year when we are reminded how important our dads, (and moms) have been to us.

Unfortunately I never had that privilege. I never sent my father a card on fathers day, nor gave him a hug, nor took him to dinner, nor made eye contact. But he lives in my heart because his creative blood runs through my veins, though he died in 1941. I guess that makes Father’s Day even more significant.

I have come to understand the fathers in our country much more in the last two years, since …

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PUBLIC SCHOOLS NEED UNIFORM DRESS CODES

Not long ago, I visited Burwell, a small town in central England where I took a morning walk each day along narrow curved streets with the aroma of fresh baked bread in the air and children — ages 6 to 16 — waiting on corners for their school bus. Those kids caught my attention. Every one carrying books, neat and tidy, hair combed, well behaved and beaming with pride and self-esteem. At least, it seemed that way. What was so different?

Uniforms.

It’s the rule, not the exception throughout many locals in England. Each child goes to school without competing for style and attention by what they wear. There is no societal status — no rich, no poor. The have-nots need not feel inferior because of what they wear. The haves need not feel superior. The kids go to school to learn, not to out-fashion one another. There is no sexy garb, no filth, no piggishness. If they feel good about themselves, they will perform good. Most of all, the schools are safer. Aye, there’s the rub.

Contrast that to the school scene within the United States. Mini-skirts. Body piercing. Flip flops and dirty feet. Low-rise shorts bared to the …

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WHY OBAMA MUST NOT BE ELECTED

Like most cops, I spent the majority of my career discerning truth from fiction. After a while, you get pretty good at it. Folks who work in the field of criminal justice deal with liars every day and develop a strong scent for deceit. It’s part of the job.

Such provides, in my opinion, an advantage in deciding who to vote for in a major election. Those of us in career law enforcement and other justice jobs, tend to weigh evidence, and not be guided by impressions and eloquent oratory. What’s most important is the sum of evidence, not one or two items by themselves, but the whole.

We live in a time of hype and idolatry spawned by media sensationalism. It trumps common sense. Evidence meant nothing in the O.J. Simpson trial. The jury was swayed by the aura of celebrity and charisma, not by an amalgamation of facts which pointed toward his guilt. Five months of listening to testimony took a back seat to sound bytes, like, “If the glove don’t fit, you gotta acquit.” Blinded by awe, the jury disregarded solid evidence and voted in favor of the killer.

Mind boggling.

The mayor of Washington D.C. was …

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Never Too Late To Say Thanks

You never know.

Small gestures of the past may resurface one day and bring gratitude when you least expect it.

Library booktalks have brought me through five states, from Knoxville, Tennessee to Key West, Florida, and hundreds of meeting rooms and auditoriums. As they say in show biz — it’s my schtick, a fun gig that has paid off in more ways than one.

On occasion, I will spot a face in the audience from an early era of my life, an old police crony, a high school chum, an old girl friend, a former adversary, or some obscure soul upon whom I made a mark and never knew it. Last year, a long lost relative showed up at an Asheville library, one who I had never met.

Clearwater, Florida. 2004. The crowd was disappointingly small. As folks ambled in, they were surprised to see an older curly-haired fellow playing gypsy songs on a violin as he wandered around the room. “Are we in the wrong place?” a woman asked of the host.

“Oh, no. That’s the author. Have a seat,” replied the librarian.

The audience was attentive and lively as I embarked on my dissertation. One fellow sitting in …

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