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This is about smoking cigarettes. Most of my readers have given up the habit long ago. But, you might want to pass this down to a few of the grandkids, especially those entering their teens.

I know a guy who smoked four packs a day. He was a hard-core nicotine addict.

He started…much the same way most teens start, because he wanted to be “the same,” included, part of the group, no different. He wanted “acceptance.” Smoking cigarettes was part of the every day culture. It was cool!

Of course, in the 1950’s, smoking was the “in” thing for society in general. We cannot see an old Classic Movie starring Humphrey Bogart or Bette Davis without noticing that every character in the scene is puffing away on the weed. Holding a Chesterfield between the fingers was part of the attire. Until the 1980s, smoking was allowed almost everywhere, including office buildings and movie theaters. No more.

Like most kids who continue the habit into adulthood, he became addicted to nicotine. After all, it’s as much a drug, as is heroin and cocaine, only nicotine is sold legally and taxed by the government. The addiction became so powerful, that the mere

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The future of America is in big trouble and we keep looking the other way.

Here is a segment from an important document, extracted from the manifesto of an organization known as the Muslim Brotherhood. It is not ambiguous:

“The process of settlement (of Islam in the United States) is a “Civilization-Jihadist” process. The Ikhwan (brothers) must understand that all their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and sabotaging their miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all religions.”  

The Muslim Brotherhood is the most widespread and influential of all the extremist organizations within Islam. It is rooted on more than seventy countries, including the U.S. and Europe, and has vast financial power at its disposal via the mid-east oil conglomerate. I invite anyone to check it out on Google. There is a plethora of information available for those inclined to investigate further. Here’s a start:

Click here: The roots of the Pan-Islamic Jihad

Click here: Muslim Brotherhood – Wikipedia

Click here: Rod Dreher: What the Muslim Brotherhood means for the U.S.

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My cranky old stepfather had a way with words. Back in 1955, I was but a 16 year-old lad when we were engaged in a conversation about movie idols. I shared with him my admiration for Elizabeth Taylor, who I considered to be the most gorgeous human creature ever to walk the face of the earth. In the middle of my blathering over her, Bernie interrupted, and in his inimitable Brooklynese, said, “Listen kid. Think about this. What if Elizabeth Taylor is out hiking in the woods. She’s gotta take a …she’s gotta go, you know…real bad. What does she do? She lifts her f ——g dress, pulls down her panties and squats…just like you and me.”

Fame and fortune doesn’t make anyone more or less human than you or me.

The current news blitz about the life and death of Michael Jackson is a good example of off-the-charts idolatry. Despite his wealth, (or because of it) it ultimately served as a virtual prison within a secluded world. Such was the case with Elvis, and others, who could not walk the streets, attend a public function, go to a movie or eat in a restaurant without throngs of worshippers crowding,

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Americans will soon tire of our new president sucking up to the Muslim world by denigrating our country as the one to blame for all their problems. Mr. Obama would be wise to realize that he was elected president of the United States, not planet Earth.

The Iraq war stands as the convenient wedge for which the president apologizes, calling it a “war of choice.” While that may or may not be true, I’m sure it doesn’t set well with the families of fallen American soldiers to hear Mr. Obama make such a global announcement, as though our sons and daughters sacrificed and died for a wasteful cause.

In fact, long before any war with Iraq, relations with the Muslim world has long been a source of consternation, particularly since radical Islamists have been murdering innocents around the world by the multi-thousands in the name of Allah. One could cite hundreds of terror attacks, not only in America and Europe, but also in southern Asia, and throughout Africa, including hundreds of thousands killed in Algeria. Many of the victims have been fellow Muslims, deemed martyrs by radicals because they died for the cause of Jihad.

Listening to the president, one

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Ten-Point Advice for the Republican Party


The Republican Party is licking its wounds while the big bosses retreat to the strategy rooms to formulate the turnaround, much like they did after Clinton won in 1992. But they’re doing it all wrong, starting with the players. It’s certain path toward self-destruction which will please a lot of Democrats. After all, the more Democrats who are elected into power, the more the presidency becomes a rubber stamp dictatorship.

As an Independent, and certainly not running for office, I happily reject those confining pigeonholes that politicians cannot avoid. As NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, sometimes the Democrats have good ideas, sometimes the republicans have good ideas. I generally lean toward Democrats regarding social issues, and lean toward the Republicans, most strongly, in issues of national security. What’s most essential, is that we maintain checks and balances. With a one-sided government, that’s gone.

I do hope for a Republican resurgence in the 2010 off-year election, otherwise they will have no more voice than a whisper in the wind.

From my perspective, the Republican Party needs to follow some tough advice if they have any hope to regenerate in the future.

1) Dump Dick Cheney. Get him off talk shows, TV

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What a world we live in.

Can you imagine a clothing style where women … especially fat women…wear low rise pants and skirts so their guts can hang over for all to admire?

Can you imagine a dress style in America where young men walk around with their pants hanging under the cheeks of their ass, so their underwear is completely exposed? And parents say it’s okay?

Can you imagine youngsters on a dance floor doing nothing other than dry sex with clothes on? Welcome to 2009, folks.

Can you imagine admiring performers like Frankie Avalon, Frank Sinatra or Ray Charles singing lyrics about raping women, killing cops and using drugs…and our kids make them rich by buying millions of their records? Welcome to gangsta rap. And these guys win Grammy awards. Well…after all, Elvis wiggled his pelvis, right?

Can you imagine school officials strip searching a 13 year-old girl, because she was caught with an Advil? Or suspending a 9 year-old for giving a Cert mint to a friend? Again, welcome to 2009. It just happened in Manassas, Va.

Can you imagine arresting a 19 year-old for having consensual sex with a 17 year-old girl, then sentencing him to

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When baseball great Lou Gehrig was dying of his now-infamous disease in 1939, he stood in Yankee Stadium, hunched, and proclaimed, “I’m the luckiest guy in the world.”

If that’s not seeing the glass half full, I don’t know what is. The Iron Horse, as the pundits dubbed him, thought not so much about his impending death, but his remarkable life, his humble upbringings and his enormous athletic talent that elevated him to fame and fortune, providing love and dignity to his family. He thought about the treasure of life. After all, he figured, we all gotta die sometime, what’s the big deal?

Reminds me of that poignant poem by Linda Ellis titled, “The Dash,” which focuses on a headstone marker, denoting the year of birth and the year of death, but all that really matters is that little dash in between the years. If you’ve never read it, here it is:

                          I read of a man who stood to speak
                               At the funeral of a friend.
                      He referred to the dates on her tombstone
                            From the beginning to the end.

He noted that first came the date of her birth
And spoke of the following date with tears,

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