Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Frost - Nixon

I remember when the Frost - Nixon interviews took place in the Fall of 1977. I watched a few segments and it was apparent to me that Nixon handled the British journalist pretty easily. I simply inquired why Nixon would waste his time talking to a member of the main stream media, although there weren't any alternatives at the time except in the print media, i.e. National Review. The only explanation I can come up with is Nixon's psychological issues and personality foibles which ultimately led to his downfall, but that's another story.

When I heard the ads for the new movie, I simply ignored them because I have no intention of seeing this film. How much liberal drivel can one take? Especially at Christmastime.

However, I happened to be listening to Monica Crowley last Saturday night on the way to a Christmas party and she raised some very interesting issues about the movie and journalism in general. As Monica so cleverly called them, why does the "lame - stream media" continue to bash Conservatives and Republicans and give Democrats a pass. When she first raised this subject, I thought nothing new there Monica we already know that. However, she raised a very interesting example by way of contrast which bears repeating here, especially now with the " Messiah's" coronation on the horizon.

Monica pointed out that the lame-streamers loved that Nixon was grilled for 14 hours by Frost, and some even thought Frost went easy on him. But here is where it got really interesting. Monica then raised our friend Bill Clinton's recent interview with Chris Wallace. You remember that one. Wallace asked him a few fair questions, and Clinton accustomed to only soft balls from an adoring dinosaur media, hit the roof. Wallace's questions could hardly be classified as tough and yet Clinton screamed like a baby. Mind you this was an interview that lasted maybe a half hour and Clinton couldn't take it. It was astounding that a man who had been President for 8 years,had NEVER been asked a fair question. Unbelievable! Only in America and in the blinded world of the "lame - stream media".

Monica wondered as do I, why Clinton and other liberals are always given a pass. Where and when will Clinton's feet be held to the fire? Don't hold your breath was her conclusion, with which I agree. In what made for some very interesting radio, Monica then posed some questions which she would like to see Clinton answer, and which he would be relentlessly hounded to answer if he were a Republican. I won't repeat Monica's questions ( all of them good ) here, but I would like to add a few of my own.

Mr. President why did you sell nuclear secrets to Communist China? Was your 1996 re-election campaign really more important than the safety of the country? Why after all the terrorist attacks of the 1990s did you do nothing and treat this war as a petty criminal action? How could you nominate an anti-American jurist like Ruth Bader Ginsberg to the Supreme Court?

How about the following inquiries to a man who garnered 90% of the African American vote? If you were really the first black President, why did you do nothing to stop the genocide in Rwanda? For that matter, why did you do nothing while Muslims were slaughtering hundreds of thousands of black Christians in Sudan? How come you spent considerably less than the current Bush administration to combat the spread of aids in Africa?

That's simply the tip of the iceberg, I still didn't get to Vince Foster and Ron Brown, but you get the picture. So query, why doesn't Chris Matthews or Larry King pursue this interview. You know that they and their ilk will soon start hounding President Bush for the big "gotcha" interview. If the lame - streamers were to ask Clinton the questions that both Monica and I raised, the ratings would go through the roof. The only problem is that you couldn't do a proper interview with Clinton in 14 hours. You would need 14 days.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

More Christmas Stories

How bout some of these gems that Santa delivered over the years: electric football, (in which it took 15 minutes just to set up the players for each play) Monday Night Football, Kelly Car Wash, strat-o-matic football and baseball, and that "mini-disc" player recounting the heroics of Daryle Lamonica and Dick Butkus among others.

Also who remembers this memorable tree story from one of our last Christmases in Springfield. This was in the era of Uncle Rube Claus.The tree was too tall once we put it in the stand, so we cut some off of the base. The only problem was that we cut too much off and we couldn't put the tree back in the stand because of the lower hanging branches. We then had to take the piece of the base that we had just cut off, shave a couple of inches off of it and nail back onto the tree itself. By doing that, we were then able to get the tree in the stand and it looked great. Nobody could tell the difference.

Christmas Traditions Part II

Christmas is certainly a magical time of year and the traditions are wonderful. I especially love the Italian traditions. Growing up we did our own version of the traditional seven fish Christmas Eve meal, eating those fish that we liked and discarding those that we didn't.

This year Lisa hosted the Christmas Eve dinner for the extended family so Mom didn't have to cook. It was great. My in-laws were in from out of town as was Aunt Daria, and the whole gang came over for an open house. We exchanged gifts, ate and drank a ton, and had a lot of laughs. It was just like the old days. That night was fantastic as well, as you could actually feel the excitement in the air of Santa's anticipated visit. Carolyn served as hostess on Christmas Day, a tradition that is now 13 years old, and that was great as well.

In addition to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, the Italian tradition at least in our family, was to celebrate the entire Christmas Week right up through New Years Day. Those events could be formal dinners or informal visits to come over and see the tree and what Santa had brought. Of course sprinkled in throughout the week was a menu fo NFL and increasingly important bowl games, along with Flyers and Sixers games. It simply doesn't get any better than this.Let's keep it going. Happy 2009 to all!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Pièce de résistance

After that last post, shortly before calling it a day, Dom and Emmy appeared before us in the living room. Emmy announced that she and Dom had one more gift to give us this Christmas.

"There were three National Merit Semi-Finalists at Father Ryan this year. You're looking at two of them".

And with that, a very good night...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Traditions

Following on Mark's previous post, let me share some Christmas traditions that we observe, some ethnically rooted ones that we want to continue, others simply things that we have done for some reason or another.

First off, Christmas Eve dinner is a seafood feast. It is my understanding that there is a traditional Italian 7-fish meal on this day, to include calamari, baccala, smelts, and other fish. This wasn't one that we celebrated rigorously growing up; we were aware of its existence and observed a version that eliminated the fish that we didn't care much for. And so it continues: we had stuffed squid (calamari sounds so much better!), mussels, and shrimp to go along with antipasto, pasta, and a wonderful Amaretto cake for dessert.

We went to Mass at 6:30. This isn't a tradition so much as a preference. We tried midnight Mass when the twins were younger and we were in New York, but that often became an exercise in heavy lifting and precarious carrying of precious cargo across an icy parking lot before bringing them upstairs and putting them to bed. The older I get, the less the idea of staying up past my bedtime and lugging slumbering kids around appeals to me. Mass at 6:30 following dinner at about 5 worked out well.

One tradition that I never embraced was my wife's family's tradition of saving the wrapping of gifts for Christmas Eve. She and her mother, and later her younger sister, would stay up to the wee hours, chit-chatting and getting the gifts ready. I would invariably disappoint Angela by fading away well before the last present was wrapped (and often shortly after the first one was!). We now wrap as we go, with a few stragglers that we knock out before midnight. We put them out beneath the tree after the kids have fallen asleep, and then quickly get to bed so that Santa won't catch us not sleeping at the appointed hour.

Christmas morning varies, with the kids no longer the earliest risers. I was up before 5 this morning, then went back to sleep for a bit. We heard the giddy rantings of the kids upstairs (the tree is in the loft) around 6, and went up soon thereafter. Emmy, though, was still in the bathroom, so we had to wait a bit for the unwrapping to begin. I am reminded of my sister Carolyn's insistence that the gift distribution and unwrapping be done according to rules that she alone knew but compliance with which she demanded of all. This came to be known as "Buffy Protocol". We are a whole lot laxer in our system: someone grabs a box, sees whose name is on it, and gives it to them to open. If someone is starting to feel left out, then we will make a search for a specific box, but this doesn't happen too often. Angela mans the trash bags and puts the discarded wrappings into the bags at once. I work the camera. There is the usual situation where one of the younger ones will want to go past unwrapping to unpacking and using the gift, and the older siblings and/or parents issuing a cease and desist order. The last thing we want is a game or toy with multiple parts on the floor by the tree with lots of foot traffic and the possibility of something getting accidentally discarded.

We had a nice breakfast, usually featuring, as it did this morning, Italian Christmas cookies that Angela has made. We package up cookies for delivery to friends and neighbors; we usually do this in the days before Christmas. Luca and I made the last two deliveries last night to neighbors who weren't around on the first pass. One tradition that we skipped this year is the awarding of popcorn (we have to buy some for Scouts, so this is a way to distribute it - we always buy more than we really want) to households with great Christmas light displays. We'll have to get back to that next year. During the day, we watch movies when not playing with the new loot. "A Christmas Story" is a perennial favorite; one of these years we will make it to the house in Cleveland where it was filmed.

So those are some of the things that we did this year and try to do every year. Angela wonders how non-Italians can enjoy the season without the culinary customs that we have. She is reminded of Joe Paterno's mother's comment when he told her that things were getting serious with the German girl he had been dating: "How you gonna eat?!" Oh yeah, the "big gifts" of the year: Gabe - electric guitar with amp; Luca - red iPod nano; Dom - PlayStation 3. Emmy got lots of clothes; I am not sure what qualifies as the "big" gift.

A very good day. Merry Christmas to all. And to all a good night.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all! Once again this sacred holiday is under attack with the PC police frowning on the use of the phrase " Merry Christmas" in favor of the vapid, unreligious, and ludicrous "Happy Holidays". Christmas is a sacred Christian holiday, and America is primarily a Christian country born out of the Judeo - Christian tradition. It is a festive time, as well as a time of peace and good will and the last time I checked, it's something we could all use a little more of in this world. Furthermore, Christmas is a federal holiday and all government offices are closed. There is also a secular aspect to Christmas that everyone, not just Christians enjoy.

It is ridiculous and idiotic to claim that the word "Christmas" and the phrase "Merry Christmas" are somehow divisive. Why anyone would be offended is beyond me. It is simpy an attack on religion, specifically Christianity which is the favorite whipping boy of the liberals because of its strong moral stance and acknowledgment of good and evil.

The other major religious holiday that occurs around Christmastime is Hannukah. To those that celebrate Hannukah, I cheerfully wish a Happy Hannukah, the fact that I am Christian is immaterial. When I see a Menorah, I don't feel that Jews are trying to make me feel like an outsider, nor do I feel that they are intolerant. I simply honor their right to celebrate this great holiday which is part of the great Jewish religious tradition.The same holds true for any other religious group in America. It's called freedom of religion.

So let's let the liberals and their friends in the dinosaur media that carry their water, know that the war on Christmas is on and that it is inevitable that Christmas is and will be victorious. Let's begin by wishing a hearty "Merry Christmas" to all those we encounter. By the way kidos to Bill O'Reilly for taking center stage in this fight. On this issue, he's displayed a lot of guts and deserves our hearty congratulations.

Presently, as we are now past the 2008 election cycle this blog will morph into one espousing Conservative principles and preserving the great American traditions. This month obviously will be dedicated to the traditions of Christmas, and I would invite all to share their favorite Christmas traditions over the next few weeks. I will share mine as well.

For now be of good cheer, pray for our troops and be thankful for living in the greatest country in the history of the world. Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 5, 2008

And now for something very off-topic!

My good friend and fellow author, Stacey Joiner interviewed me today about my book, Water Signs: A Story of Love and Renewal. In this brief video, I share my motivation for writing the book, explore some of its themes and describe the creative process as it unfolded for me.

Many thanks to Stacey for her camera work, and her excellent coaching!

In this second video, I explain why it took me so darn long to finally achieve my childhood dream, and offer advice to fellow wordsmiths:

P.S. Don't you just love winter in South Florida! :)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Rick Moran delivers a first-class smackdown of Deepak Chopra

Years ago, I was an avid reader of Chopra's books, but sadly, he's devolved into another left-wing, blame-America-first loon. Or is it more accurate to state that Chopra has simply revealed his true colors in the years following 9/11, now that New Age dogma -- characterized by the moral relativism so eagerly embraced and espoused by libs -- has become not only a fashionable (e.g. "I am not religious, I am spiritual") but also a formidable force against logic and reason?

Apparently, Chopra was spewing his nonsense on CNN in an effort to explain the horrific acts of terror wrought upon Mumbai. I will leave you with Moran's zinger of an opener, but click over to read his entire piece. It's definitely worth the time.

There are few human beings on planet earth more annoying than Deepak Chopra, the touchy-feely, New Age Guru whose fetid, gooey, and completely banal nostrums regarding health and healing have reached a new low in the history of civilized thought.

He is, in short, a first class idiot.

Palin Campaigning for Chambliss in Georgia

Thanksgiving may be over, but I am betting Senator Chambliss is extremely grateful to Palin for rallying the faithful. She's the best thing to emerge from an incredibly tedious and trying election season. As one of the thousands in attendance put it so succinctly: "Our candidate did not win the election but she won our hearts."

And proving once again she's a class-act, Sarah had nothing but praise for her former running mate, John McCain, though the senator from Arizona couldn't seem to muster the "honor" and courage to defend her from the reprehensible smears put forth by cowardly, despicable members of his own staff. With leaders like Sarah, the future of conservatism is bright, as long as grass-roots activists remain engaged, hold our elected representatives accountable and make a consistent, concerted effort to educate and inform.

Go Sarah go! And may Senator Chambliss prevail in tomorrow's run-off.

H/T: Hot Air

UPDATE: Chambliss wins, credits Sarah for his victory.