Tuesday, October 25, 2011




That's it, we're done, ring down the curtain on the Iraq War, the President says it's time to pull the plug. They'll all be home by Christmas. (Where have we heard that before?)

The Amazing Shrinking President has been madly pinning battle ribbons on his own chest, with the take-down of Osama (a job well done), the bludgeoning-to-death of Ghadaffi (he really wants that on his resumé?), and the official withdrawal of all troops from Iraq (except for the ones that will be staying..... just enough to guard the embassy, not enough to defend themselves in the event of an Occupy Al-Rashid Street disturbance).

Interestingly, right up until the last minute, the Obama administration was working feverishly (or trying to give the appearance of working feverishly) NOT to have to withdraw all troops, but to leave a sufficient number to continue training and being alert for the security of the fledgling democracy Americans and Iraqis have sacrificed so much to build. That was (theoretically) the goal of negotiations with the Al-Malaki government -- right up until it wasn't, and we are all now to congratulate the President on not reaching that agreement. Even the New York Times smells a rat, and knows this has been a royal "cock-up".

Further and more incisive analysis of this sucking-up-to-the-left-wing-base gambit was provided by Max Boot at Commentary. Money quote:
Far from being cause for celebration, Obama’s announcement that we will keep only 150 U.S. troops in Iraq after the end of the year–down from nearly 50,000 today–represents a shameful failure of American foreign policy that risks undoing all the gains that so many Americans, Iraqis, and other allies have sacrificed so much to achieve. The risks of a catastrophic failure in Iraq now rise appreciably.

Connecticut Independent Joe Lieberman is spittin' nails.

Lefty CNN yapper Fareed Zakaria knows a diplomatic flop when he sees one.

Even the Hawaii Reporter can't bring itself to crow that a "local boy makes good."

Just for the record...


So said Reporter-to-the-World Michael Yon, and if he says it you can take it to the bank. (Well, after 2008 maybe the bank's not such a good idea, but you get my drift.) Anyway, we won.

What we've been doing for the three years since then is WINNING THE PEACE.

So it's the PEACE that the 44th President has officially withdrawn from. Great move, dude.

Why?, you may ask. Well, it wasn't good for Iraq. It's not good for the United States. It's going to be crap for Libya, Egypt, Syria, and all the other kids in the 'hood.

I guess Obama is one of those unromantic types who, after he screws you, all he can ask is, "Was it good for me?"

We'll get back to him on that when he's forced to propose putting troops back in in 2012 -- it could happen.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011




I'm just trying to create an effective Google reference here for the hotel we stayed in during our recent excursion to Florence and Rome. Just today I received an invitation to rate our hotel in Rome, and I did my best to be nice, although our experience in Florence was so fine that I went into Rome with a chip on my shoulder, seeing every flaw.

In fact, the Hotel Alimandi Vaticano was pretty good -- a bit overpriced, I think, and much further from the gates to St. Peter's than I had thought (everything looks smaller on a map). But anything would look second-rate compared to the warm welcome and familial hospitality of the [wait for it...]


After the inexplicable decision to DRIVE to Florence -- on Italian highways, with Italian drivers, culminating in the plate of spaghetti which is the road-map of medieval/renaissance Firenze -- we screeched into the available pocket of cobblestone in front of our hotel on the Via Porta Rossa, and my by-then-frazzled chauffeur & spousal unit mounted the 26 steps, rode the phone-booth sized elevator (we came to call it the Tardis), and arrived at the front desk in melt-down mode. From behind the desk the dapper second-gener
ation owner, Fabrizio, thrust out his hand and welcomed his customer by name, and my husband was won over instantaneously. From there is just got better.

Our luggage was lugged upstairs by the staff, our car was whisked away for safe-keeping, and we were ushered into our cool, crisp, comfortable room with the giant tempurpedic bed. Calm suddenly reigned. We were soon refreshed enough to walk to the Duomo for evening Mass, we found a light supper on the way back, and became gradually aware of how perfectly placed we were for an enjoyable stay in this amazing city.

All this, and Happy Hour too. Italians have this way of not eating dinner until 8:00-9:00 p.m. -- we seldom made use of it, opting instead for a good lunch and an evening snack. But to help us non-Italians through the pause before the dinner hour, the Hotel Davanzati puts on the jazz recording, dims the lights, and opens up the breakfast room and lobby for Happy Hour, 6:30-7:3
0, with Prosecco, Chianti, and munchies, ON THE HOUSE! Prosecco, I have discovered, has incredible curative properties, especially below the ankles. A-a-a-h-h-h.

We were only in Firenze for four days, and could only make plans for what we need to do on the second visit, sometime in the near future, but enjoyed it immensely (oh the peace of the San Marco Convent -- a surprise in every box!), with all its pleasures enriched by the comforts and hospitality of the Hotel Davanzati. And, to no great surprise, the hotel is right next door to the Palazzo Davanzati, which is AWESOME. A medieval must-see.

Monday, October 17, 2011


Who could argue? After all, she was raised Catholic, and people like that know everything.

In a 2009 interview with pop-religion site Belief.net, Sarandon gave her views on the fostering of World Peace. Said she:
I think it really starts with your neighbors. I think it starts with your everyday life and living as Christ did, in a loving way and a respectful way.
Then, in an interview this week at the Hamptons Film Festival, in a huge burst of love and respect, Ms. Sarandon gave her sage opinion of certain Catholic leaders. She recalled that:
...she sent the pope a copy of the anti death penalty book, Dead Man Walking, authored by Sister Helen Prejean. Sarandon starred in the 1995 big-screen adaptation.
"The last one," she said, "not this Nazi one we have now."
Notice the "we" -- still conveniently calling on the Catholic creds she has long since abandoned (divorced in 1979, never married to two different fathers of her children).

Asked during the 2008 election cycle what Jesus would do, Sister Sarandon opined as how "Jesus would be very supportive of John Edwards." You cannot make this stuff up.

Later, on the subject of The One (B.H. Obama), La Sarandon was heard to say, “He is a community organizer like Jesus was. And now, we’re a community and he can organize us.” Just a dream come true, right folks?

Back in that Belief.net piece, Sarandon waxed eloquent on matters religious:
I've always been very resistant to organized religion. Because, somehow, when religion becomes institutionalized, all the guys that started it that were so brilliant …their words get used to exclude other people. I've always felt that institutionalized religion never really made the transition from the words of Christ, or the words of Buddha, or the words of Confucius.
I believe in the power of a higher divine of some sort. But I think that is probably what informs all my decisions is the idea of the divine in each person. And I try to act according to that belief...

I believe in the divinity of every human being. And I try to live my life with as much compassion and kindness toward that end, of respecting other people...

How do you incorporate those beliefs into your everyday spirituality?

I think you lead by example more than just words. I would hope that my kids have seen me in action, protecting and helping those that have been less fortunate than I have been. I hope that they see that in my daily struggles with making my own moral decisions that I try to be as thoughtful as possible.

But, mostly, I think you lead by example because as your kids get older, preaching to them doesn't really work.

Uh, yeah -- when your kids get older, sometimes you're not really in a position to preach at all.

Susan reveals that Jack, Miles and Eva “still haven’t watched” most of her films. She elaborates, “Not because of embarrassment but just not wanting to see their mum as somebody different — that’s hard for them.”

Of course there are countless other ways to embarrass your children, and it’s something Susan says she does “constantly.” The 63-year-old actress says she’s “given up being defensive about it,” noting, “if you’re breathing, you’re an embarrassment.”

To that end, Susan says she began opting out of filming nude scenes once the kids began to ask tough questions.

“They’ll point out something I did earlier and ask, ‘Did it never occur to you that you might have a child?’” she recalls. “I say, ‘No, it didn’t, really.’ But I accept them; they have to learn to accept me.”

Still, confusion has — at times — persisted, particularly when the kids were younger. “If I kissed someone in a film, my son used to ask, ‘Did you have sex in that movie?’ and I’d say, ‘No, we just kissed,’ yet he considered it sexual. But that is the dance, because sexuality exists around children. From the time they’re walking, they’re completely sexual. I remember having to explain to both my sons that we couldn’t get married.”


Yes, when someone like this says the Pope is a Nazi, the whole world is watching -- the whole world is watching -- the hole weird is witching -- the held wold is whamming......... ya-a-a-w-n.