Wednesday, December 30, 2009


We have not reached the first anniversary of President Barack Hussein Obama’s presidency, and his honeymoon is over and the blooms are coming off his roses. It appears to your Commander that President Obama already rues the days he sold the country on his version of TRANSPARENCY and CHANGE, which incidentally he has yet to achieve or deliver. If anything, Washington has not changed one bit for the betterment of the citizens of the United States of America in his first eleven months of leadership.

Once the darling of the media world, Obama now finds his administration coming under an ever increasing degree of scrutiny. My local newspaper ran a very critical warning from Washington Post columnist David Broder titled “A Warning Obama Should Take to Heart.” Broder reports on a letter written to Obama by William Daley (ex-Commerce Secretary, brother of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, political power broker, fellow Chicagoan, and one of the canniest Democrats in the party) warning Obama that he is on the verge of losing his grip on the vital center of politics.

Additionally, my local newspaper has been running Letters to the Editor for several days decrying growing concerns and objections to the Health Bill passed by the House and the version recently approved by the Senate. One must wonder if anyone in Washington listens to their constituencies, if they care, or if they have just become totally arrogant. One would think that the President and his advisors have read the polls, and the flood of letters objecting to the proposed Health Care legislation, but they thumb their noses at the very people who put them in office.

Proof of my contention that Obama is in growing trouble with the people is a revealing Op-Ed in the 12/29 issue of The New York Times by Bob Herbert. The first line of his article proves that transparency is out the window, “There is a middle-class tax time bomb ticking in the Senate’s version of President Obama’s effort to reform health care.” The New York Times was once the ardent supporter of Obama, but with each passing day there are more and more articles questioning this administration’s shortcomings.

Now, just one day later there is an Editorial titled “The System Failed” regarding Christmas Day’s attempted Al Qaeda effort to blow up a Delta Airlines plane, and a stinging Op-Ed by columnist Maureen Dowd, once one of Obama’s strongest supporters, titled “As the Nation’s Pulse Races, Obama Can’t Seem to Find His” on a similar subject. Both New York Times pieces add to growing Obama criticism as his poll numbers continue downward.

Mr. President if you do not already know it, both the media and the citizens of this country are circling the wagons against your leadership and administration. The Tea Party movement is real; it is growing and just may seal your fate. It is time for our President to read the tea leaves. I predict there is a strong message coming in November 2010, and it will not be a ringing endorsement of the Obama Administration, or our Congress.


Monday, December 28, 2009


There are only a few more days left to write 2009 at the top of correspondence. As I continue into my 79th year on this marvelous place called Earth, I am more grateful each and every day for what our creator has granted me. To enjoy the wondrous features and experiences of life are truly amazing and something that we all too frequently take for granted.

I have been blessed with a wonderful wife and two successful, loving children. My four grandchildren have been a source of great joy and pride to all, and I know to their parents as well. Your Commander bursts with pride each and every day. Despite all the confusion and contention facing our democracy, life is good and it is something all of us should never take for granted.

What lies ahead for all of us in 2010 is unknown, but we must all strive everyday to achieve peace and goodwill among all peoples of the world. The alternative is totally unacceptable, and we must keep going daily to the plate to take a swing of the bat to all the problems facing mankind.

To my readers and friends, I wish you a very Happy New Year filled with much joy and happiness.


Sunday, December 27, 2009


With the recent startling news reports of increasing violence in and around Chicago educational institutions, I decided to investigate the correlation between financial expenditures and attained results. The unbelievable accounts of a good Fenger High School student’s death due to a beating by thugs with two by fours hit home, because it occurred at the high school that my wife attended 1962-1966.

Did you know or remember that the Federal Department of Education was not formed until President Jimmy Carter signed legislation in October 1979, and since that time the staff has grown to over 5,000 federal employees? President Reagan promised in 1980 to eliminate this Cabinet post and through the 1980’s and 90’s the Republican Party unsuccessfully supported that position.

President Reagan said, “The Federal government has no constitutional authority to be involved in school curricula or to control jobs in the market place. This is why we will abolish the , Department of Education, end federal meddling in our schools, and promote family choice at all levels of learning.” Obviously that never happened and the federal educational budget has exploded to over $62.6 billion in the regular 2009 discretionary appropriations, plus $96.8 billion in discretionary funding provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Just consider the fact that many believe that the funding of Education should be the responsibility of each State as clearly espoused by our Founding Fathers. The State of Illinois Education budget is in excess of $4.8 billion alone. That does not include the dollars flowing from the Federal government.

Considering those huge numbers, I looked to the Chicago Sun Times recent reports of individual schools’ achievements, and found some startling results. In the Adequate Yearly Progress Report it is specified by the No Child Left Behind Act that schools must strive to achieve:

High Schools must have a graduation rate of at least 78%.

Elementary and Junior High Schools must have an attendance rate of at least 90%.

Compare that to these numbers for Fenger High School on Chicago’s far south side:

Only 6.7% of all students meet or exceed state reading standards.

Only 3.4% of all students meet or exceed state math standards.

Only 47.1% graduated.

Fenger High School has been identified for school/student improvement for the last seven years and is rated 654 out of 656 ranked high schools.

I could not believe my eyes, so I then looked at the report for the Chicago high school I attended 1945-1949, Hirsch High School, also located on Chicago’s south side, and the results were shocking, too.

Only 17.4% of all students meet or exceed state reading standards.

Only 7.0% of all students meet or exceed state math standards.

Only 46.5% graduated.

Just like Fenger, Hirsch has been cited for improvement the last seven years and is rated 628 out of 656.

Trust me when I tell you that these two schools today are educationally nothing like the schools my wife and I attended. We had teachers and administrators who encouraged us to do our best and parents who expected exactly that.

There were many other statistics in the Chicago Sun Times reports, but the three quoted above from two high schools tell a frightful story of underachievement and a failure of our governments, both Federal and State, to achieve appropriate educational results. The reports clearly prove there is a huge difference in the level of achievement between white and minority students and schools.

I looked at a number of schools in more affluent areas of Chicago and, although the scores and statistics were significantly better, there was plenty of room for improvement. One wonders about parental involvement and the ability of the teachers in high minority schools. What about the Teachers Unions and National Education Association (the teachers’ lobbying group in Washington)? Shouldn’t they expect excellence from their members, and my feeling is the issue of tenure makes a bad situation even worse. How many people do you know, other than teachers, have tenure with their jobs?

Your Commander salutes the bankrupt Chicago Sun Times for bringing this vital information to its readers, but I suspect little or nothing will be done to really solve this appalling situation. The sad result of these poor levels of student success will definitely lead to increased crime, confinements, welfare rolls swelling, and a massive financial obligation to support a growing entitlement population. Thus, it is obvious that we ask ourselves why we permit our politicians to continue to fail to address our long-term educational requirements and obligations. As taxpayers and parents we certainly are not getting our money’s worth and our country will suffer the devastating consequences.

On December 23rd, noted Economics Professor Walter E. Williams posted on comments that directly address the problems in education, particularly where black students are concerned. The article is enlightening and you can find it at:

Williams pulls no punches, which few politicians or black leaders do, when he says, “Black people have accepted hare-brained ideas that have made large percentages of black youngsters virtually useless in an increasingly technological economy. This destruction will continue until the day comes when black people are willing to turn their backs on liberals and the education establishment’s agenda and confront issues that are both embarrassing and uncomfortable. To a lesser extent, this also applies to whites because the educational performance of many white kids is nothing to write home about; it’s just not the disaster that black education is.”

I believe that President Reagan had it right and we should close the Department of Education, because we certainly are not getting what we are paying for after wasting more than a trillion dollars since its inception. Good heavens, where is the accountability, responsibility, transparency, and essential improvements to the system? Do you suspect, as I do, that our Washington politicians really want a growing entitlement voting block that is obligated to them for hand-outs? America is slowly destroying two of our most precious commodities, our children and our democracy, by permitting a failed educational system to further erode.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009


As 2009 draws to a close we are about to celebrate another Christmas, and I want to suggest that we all read or re-read the beautiful Christmas story. There is much to be gained by understanding and appreciating this beautiful story of love and compassion.

As our troubled planet continues to spin on it’s axis we all have much to celebrate and appreciate. Be certain to tell your loved ones just how much you appreciate and love them, because one never knows when one can no longer render that important message. Hopefully, all citizens of the world will join together in approaching and resolving minor and major differences with a more conciliatory attitude despite the fact that history suggests that is wishful thinking.

Throughout the span of time our most serious conflicts have been religiously based and currently the tensions between a small segment of the Islamic World and the Christian World remain unresolved. Regretfully, I doubt we will solve these issues anytime soon, but that does not mean that more reasonable heads cannot and should not work toward finding a satisfactory peaceful solution. It may be naïve, but we must find a way to stop the killing of innocent fellow citizens of this beautiful planet.

This holiday our family observes the fourth anniversary of our first grandson’s passing. Robert Michael McFeely was a special loving child who fought a 24 year long courageous battle, despite very long odds, with positive good humor. We miss you Rob, but know that you are assisting God as he tends his flock. With every passing day Rob remains a caring GIANT in our lives.

Please take time to deliver a special prayer for all our troops serving throughout this vast world. They are serving so we all can enjoy the fruits of life with peace and safety. Their service should be an inspiration to all.

No matter what your religion, I wish you a Merry Christmas, and a very Happy New Year. If that offends you, I am truly sorry. If my message offends you, I suggest that you look to the message of Christmas and translate it to your religious preference, and enjoy the Holidays in a peaceful way with the guidance of the Ten Commandments.



This week my mailbox contained a slick four color, four page self-congratulating message from my Congressman, Joe Donnelly (D-IN) announcing he was “Fighting for the Right Kind of Health Care Reform.” My first reaction after reading his propaganda was to throw it in the wastebasket, but on further reflection I decided to keep it so I could compose this commentary.

As I have repeatedly stated, I do not want my Congressman going to Washington to “fight;” I want him to work with objective honesty for the best interests of his Congressional District and the United States. Additionally, I expect my Representative to function once he or she is elected in an identical fashion to that pledged during the election campaign. Tragically, but not unexpectedly, my Congressman has sold out the interests of his constituency to the Democratic Party, and his personal interests.

This is a candidate who pledged to fight waste, oppose earmarks, support an anti-abortion agenda, and be bi-partisan. This is the same Congressman who has supported Cap and Trade, brags about the recently passed Congressional Health Care Bill that is loaded with Pork, and now spends precious taxpayer dollars on his frivolous self-promoting expensive campaign literature. His latest self-praising brochure is a wasteful financial abuse of his franking privileges.

This is the same Congressman who flies home every weekend at government expense to appear at numerous photo-ops to brag about how he is looking out for our interests. He should stay in Washington and WORK to reduce spending, eliminate PORK that flows to his special interest campaign supporters, and stop selling his vote to the union movement.

Congressman Joe Donnelly has lost my vote, as has President Barack Hussein Obama, because they have both lied repeatedly to the American public when they vote for and repeatedly support PORK laden, fiscally irresponsible projects. Please remember both Donnelly and Obama pledged during the campaign to fight against PORK, but they sold us down the river to preserve their self-interests. Repeatedly both have failed to abide by their oath to support our precious Constitution.

The November 2010 Congressional Election cannot come fast enough for me to cast my vote to replace Joe Donnelly from his service to the odious Barrack Hussein Obama’s liberal, socialist, fiscally suicidal, hoped for one-term complicit administration. Hopefully you understand the depth of my concern for our country, because next November may just be the last opportunity we will have to express our opposition to elected officials who repeatedly enact legislation that runs diametrically opposite to the electorate’s desires.


Sunday, December 20, 2009


After reading Greg Mortenson’s best selling "THREE CUPS OF TEA" (earlier reviewed), I have come to the conclusion that there are well financed forces active to prevent, or at least delay the establishment of energy independence in the United States. There are several subversive movements whose goals are the massive expansion of their influence beyond the ultra-conservative segments of the Islamic culture. These statements are not some startling new revelation, but a well-known fact which keeps being swept under the rug.

The current unstable economy of our country is inextricably tied to our massive consumption of oil for a long time to come. Our economy cannot just walk away from oil, because our politicians think that is a politically effective talking point that appeals to their liberal left leaning voting base.

Recently it came to my attention that the United States actually has more oil under its ground than ALL the oil in the Middle East put together. This fact has been verified by the U.S. Geological Service in an April 2008 report. The oil is located in western North and South Dakota, and eastern Montana. The area is called The Bakken, and it is larger than the discovery in Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay, and it has the potential to eliminate our dependency on foreign oil imports.

Additionally, the United States government and environmental special interests have prevented the exploration of oil in nearby off-shore locations citing questionable environmental concerns, while oil exploration is occurring off the shores of Cuba by Chinese government sponsored companies. The recent government supported push to develop ethanol corn based gasoline has proven to be a real bust, and it has caused significant shortages of corn along with huge price increases for that vital commodity. This is a perfect example of haste makes waste, which may be the case too with the pending Health Care Bill.

The United States continues to depend upon foreign oil imports from Middle Eastern governments, and other corrupt foreign countries that thus pump trillions of dollars into their bank accounts. This out flow of our dollars negatively impacts our employment and income to our domestic economic interests. Government experts, economists, and academic spokesmen all agree that the development of a realistic, adequate, alternative fuel sources could be decades away.

In the meantime it was confirmed in Greg Mortensen’s THREE CUPS OF TEA that Saudi Arabian individuals are flooding into Pakistan and Afghanistan with suitcases stuffed with money to build Madrassas (Islamic schools for boys) with frightening consequences. In a Wikipedia Report there were 189 madrassas in Pakistan in 1947, 10,000 by 2002, and it is estimated to be over 40,000 in 2008 serving millions of students. We know for a fact that these schools teach a radical ultra-conservative form of Islamic study that has lead directly to significant increases in terrorist activities. Additionally it is a proven fact that the followers of these radical teachings have a record of creating large family units thus increasing their influence in the countries where they reside. The political influence of this radical group is growing at a staggering rapid rate around the world.

With these facts in mind, your Commander believes that we could significantly slow down the growing influences and actions of the madrassas in the Middle East, and around the world, if we were to take immediate action to significantly decrease our importation of foreign oil. By doing so we would put a huge dent into the economy of the Saudi Royal family, and the radical fringe elements of the Islamic faith.

Were America to dramatically reduce purchases of foreign oil and develop the resources that we know we have, we would bring economic enlightenment to those oil producing countries’ economies. Why not? Why should we continue to build our enemies’ economy and increase our debt levels? We could bring substantial pressure on those governments to take action against the radical elements working against society. Without the massive oil export revenue, the Saudi’s could not continue to fund the madrassas across the world, and our country would immediately improve our employment numbers, and keep vital dollars flowing into our economy.

I further suggest that in doing so, our government could over time withdraw our military troops from Iraq, Afghanistan, and many other foreign countries thus reducing our Defense Department budget substantially, too. This expense reduction would not happen overnight, but could take place as conditions warrant.

Why does our government not see this direct connection, (our purchase of foreign oil, and their funding of terrorists) which is obviously occurring? I suggest that someone is getting a pay-off, and it directly negatively impacts our national defense, our national debt, and works against the self-interests of our country. Appropriate compromises can and should be reached with our environmental special interests, but there is a greater need to address our energy independence now once and for all. Maybe twenty years from now there will be some economically feasible fuel alternatives, but in the meantime we must use our vast domestic supply of coal, natural gas and oil. The policies being followed by our country may address supposed global warming, but our country may cease to exist before we really can become Green.

Recent actions taken in Copenhagen prove that without the cooperation of China and India there will be little or no achievement in combating Global Warming, which in itself is beginning to draw growing skepticism. I for one am growing deeply concerned by all the con-men associated with the Green Movement, and commercial beneficiaries, such as General Electric.

Right is right, and wrong is wrong. Before some liberal hand-ringer starts saying that I am being anti-Muslim I want to make it clear that they would be dead wrong. My beef is solely with the small segments of Muslims that support violent terrorist actions. Stop the politics and just plain unmitigated duplicitous actions and resolve this vital national interest situation before the ultra-conservative Islamic fanatics rule the world.

It is far too early to suggest that there is a direct relationship to the recent tragic Ft. Hood killings other than the fact that the accused killer is a Muslim, so we should take it slow in drawing hard positions. Unfortunately actions such as this are identical to those resulting from teachings emanating from the Madrassas. The initial news reports were proven to be highly inaccurate, so we must wait for the trial and see what facts are disclosed. Early indications suggest that this may be just an isolated incident, but some feel it is part of the fanatical elements’ plot against our democracy. Obviously many facts are still missing, because it is hard for me to believe that a lone gunman could kill 13 people with only two handguns. Vigilance is appropriate, but patience is propitious.

Getting back to my main point…foreign oil replaced by domestic oil production is the clear solution. Why is there any debate? This is a situation that must be solved or the United States will ultimately cease to exist as we know it. Simply put, why do you and I permit our political leadership to continue to ignore the obvious duplicitous criminal actions going on in the Middle East and elsewhere? All of the responsible individuals and misguided special interests are not overseas, some are right here in the good old USA. Just tell me why we buy our oil from foreign countries that take our money then kill our fellow citizens and soldiers? Our great country has absolutely no moral obligation to keep funneling our precious petro-dollars to countries and people who are trying to destroy not only our democracy, but our very lives. Wake-up America and act responsibility.



It has come to the attention of your Commander that a scientific study conducted by the Center for Disease Control reports that as a resident of Indiana I am ranked as living in the 48th unhappiest State. I want to go on the record that I am very unhappy to learn that our government has spent an unreported and no doubt substantial sum of money to conduct such an idiotic scientific study to determine where happy people reside.

Some clowns conned our government into subsidizing a four year research project that any fool would essentially come to the same assumptions without spending one thin dime. I am confused, however, by the report’s conclusion that the happiest people in the United States live in Louisiana when you consider the fact that the study spanned the two years before and after Hurricane Katrina struck the state. That No #1 ranking totally destroys any creditability or logic to the research, because over one million residents were certainly not happy by any criteria as reported for days by our major media outlets. The survey must have been isolated to Bourbon Street inhabitants.

It does not take a brain surgeon to know that Hawaii, Florida, Tennessee or Arizona would be in the happiest top five, and it does not take a PhD in Economics to know or at least suspect that Illinois, California, New Jersey, Indiana, Michigan, Connecticut and New York would fall to the bottom five unhappiest states for various financial reasons.

As a resident of the 48th “Unhappiness State,” I feel I am entitled to be depressed, but for different reasons than this so-called research. Yes, the weather stinks in Indiana during the winter, currently unemployment is one of the highest in the country, and let’s not forget the Notre Dame football woes for the last decade or more; but my depression is in reality caused by an inept government from the local to federal level that refuses to adapt suggested reforms.

I have shared my theories that could have saved our federal treasury one hell of a lot of time and money. How did I get so smart?


Thursday, December 17, 2009


If you are a fan of action-adventure stories then you will want to read Stephen Coonts’ newest tome “THE DISCIPLE.” Coonts is the author of fifteen New York Times best-selling books, and is a former naval aviator and Vietnam combat veteran. For more information about Coonts, and his books go to

Coonts returns with key characters, namely Tommy Carmellini and Jake Grafton, to save the United States from the evil forces leading the Iranian government. Again and again Tommy gets himself into almost impossible circumstances and of course he survives while saving the good-guys’ hides. While you know the conclusion will be successful, there are numerous well written exploits that keep you turning pages well into the early morning hours.

Personally, I cannot wait until Coonts releases his next adventure yarn. Dedicated patriot resolve rules the day.



If I did not know better I would think there are forces in our government that are definitely trying to destroy the United States of America. When I read my daily newspaper and listen to the Washington talking heads on the Sunday morning talk shows I am certain that my assumption is accurate.

Here are three examples that support my position, and be assured that I could list numerous other examples, too. To say that our government’s actions are bizarre is beyond my belief, but it is actually happening before our eyes.

1. Here we are in the midst of a recession with mounting debt and our Senate has passed an additional $1.1 trillion spending bill. Some portions of this legislation are just and necessary, such as funding Medicare/Medicaid. But, here are some other contents of the bill: funds to grant a 2% pay increase to federal employees who, in a recent government analysis, are reported to being paid excessively; expenditures of $3.9 billion to cover 5,000 projects requested by lawmakers or PORK; then, there is a stipulation for $5.1 billion for heating assistance for the poor, which is 40% more than requested. There are more questionable items, but you get my point.

2. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted $3.5 billion for projects that include little-used airports. As an example, per USA Today, $2 Billion is earmarked for low-priority projects, including $700 million for terminals. The Pelston Regional Airport in Michigan used $7.5 Million in federal funds to build a terminal with stone fireplaces and cathedral ceilings, and it averages three departures a day. Tragically this is not fiction, but proven reality.

3. Then, there is a most interesting post at by Joe Klein, whose work frequently appears in the New York Times, about our involvement in Afghanistan. With our President recently announcing the addition of 30,000 additional troops at huge expense to the American taxpayers, Klein questions the lack of participation by our NATO partners. He goes on to indicate that the real problem facing the ultimate solution in Afghanistan is the long-standing tensions between India and Pakistan, not the internal tribal problems in Afghanistan. Since we are pumping millions of dollars into both India and Pakistan why can’t we put stronger pressures upon both governments to solve their disagreements, which could directly impact a peaceful and cheaper resolution to the Afghanistan dilemma?

I keep wondering why we keep throwing our money into a conflict that does not really address the real root problem. Far too little concern is addressed for the loss of Afghani and American lives by our actions. Your Commander would put the leaders of both Pakistan and India in a room, and tell them to settle their differences now or there will not be one more dime spent to prop-up their governments. They could find a solution damn fast. It is far past the time to stop the diplomatic double-talk, and stop the killings and consequential wasteful spending.

I have not even addressed the wasteful Health Care Bill that is being shoved down our throats, which is loaded with pork, and it does not even solve the root problems of Health Care that we all want addressed. The pay-off to the trial lawyers is just plain criminal, but we are going to get some kind of a Bill despite the polls that reflect our over-whelming disapproval.

With trillions of debt facing our government, and ultimately the American taxpayers, how can our elected officials continue to add debt to the existing mountain of debt? It appears to me that there is a concerted effort to destroy the government of the United States by decimating our financial solvency. I have failed to see any indication of any degree of awareness of the urgency to address our financial obligations. We were promised CHANGE and TRANSPARENCY, but what we have so far is an apparent conspiracy to destroy our country, and place it in the hands of a ONE WORLD AUTHORITY, such as the corrupt UNITED NATIONS, which is controlled by Third World thugs.

Your Commander suggests that our new President is acting more and more like General George Armstrong Custer did at his battle at the Little Bighorn River, and we all know the results of his arrogance. (

Tragically for the American taxpayer our President Barack H. Obama is wearing blinders just like General Custer did in 1876. Do you suppose that history will repeat itself not with death, but mission failure?


Sunday, December 13, 2009


Living in the South Bend, Indiana area one quickly learns the importance of the Head Football Coaching position at the University of Notre Dame. Certainly the entire world knows by now that Charlie Weis was fired two weeks ago as the coach of the Fighting Irish.

Weather Weis’s firing was justified or not it is for much wiser football minds than mine. I do know that when you lose a game at Notre Dame, the fans turn on the coach first and then the team, and the win/loss ratio has not been good for the last three years. During that time the press has been relentlessly questioning the team’s performance and every single decision rendered by the coach and his staff. Transgressions off the field by players have not improved the relationship between the team, the players, the media, the fans, and the local community either.

What I have found especially troubling is the fact that Weis and his family have been harassed constantly during his reign, and that is something I feel should be off limits. Judgments about the team are one thing, but leave the family off-limits. Unfortunately, Weis was not media or public relations friendly and that just added fuel to the fire. Weis is leaving with his ego well taken care of by the huge buy-out of his lucrative contract, so there will be no tag-day for the Weis family, and there are NFL teams lining up to buy his services in pro-football as Offensive Coordinator. Weis joins a growing long list of under-achieving ex-Notre Dame Coaches.

It is time to stop piling on Weis, because his era is history. It is time to look to the future. It should be recognized that much of the pressure that comes with the Head Football Coaching job at Notre Dame comes from the demands of the University itself to win and bring the team to national prominence now…not at some future time and place. Winning means money and that is very important to this and a growing number of educational institutions.

At the same time, the local community is going through tough economic times and it, too, has added pressure to have a winning team, because it has a huge economic impact to local business. When the team wins, local business wins. That is something that has not happened in South Bend for many months.

Brian Kelly, ND’s recently named new Head Coach, comes with great collegiate credentials and a proven track record of accomplishment at the college level. I wish him well, but at the same time I warn him that he is now on a totally different field of play. He no longer can go to a local supermarket or local restaurant with his family, and he will be entering an isolated world of win or you’re out. Life will never be the same, but that is what comes from making huge money and entering into a world of succeed or be fired. While Kelly will be in the limelight, his family will pay a huge price for his new position. Just ask Tyrone Willingham, Bob Davie or Jerry Faust.

I truly wish Kelly and his family well, but I really wonder if it is all worth the price he and they will have to pay. Personally I do not think it is, but that is why he is the Head Coach and I will never be in that position. We should all remember that football is just a game, and there is much to learn in life from losing also. Winning is not everything as it is promoted by many today.

While I salute the University of Notre Dame for its academic excellence, I do not share the near frantic demand to win football games or the coach is dropped like a hot potato. The economic rewards of winning football games have created an unhealthy atmosphere, and it has created misplaced priorities with significant negative consequences. Money is not everything, but it appears to be at Notre Dame, and one wonders just how the founding Holy Cross Priest’s would address the situation today?

Football is no longer just a game or a sport, but a huge big-money business. Frankly, my personal priorities are far different from those excessively loud greedy voices being heard and acted upon today. I am quite content to be living a wonderful rewarding live in obscurity accepting the fact that we all win some and lose some everyday.


Thursday, December 10, 2009


When I read my local newspaper recently, and a report in the New York Times, I was reminded of an old expression my Irish Mother used to say…”Elephants and Irishmen never forget.” Well I would like to change that statement a little and say…”Elephants and American Patriots never forget.” Tragically, our government has no memory at all.

When I read that NATO members pledged 7,000 more troops to the American contingent fighting in Afghanistan, I immediately became furious. Those arrogant elitists at NATO have quickly forgotten or are ignoring the fact that brave American men and women gave their lives saving their very existence on numerous occasions, such as World War l and World War ll. There are several additional instances where American intervention saved millions of lives and governments, but those very people and their leaders seem to have short memories. When it is time to step forward and support a just intervention that addresses a threat to world order these same European functionaries hide and ignore the realities of the day.

I am further disgusted by President Obama’s fawning and unjust expressions of understanding the NATO commitment, along with the praise being uttered by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that she “was extremely heartened by the commitment” of 7,000 troops. One only needs to go to the numerous military cemeteries dotting several locations in Europe and other spots around the world to see the thousands of graves of Americans who gave the full measure to save European hides time and time again. I wanted to put my finger down my throat when I read that President Nicolas Sarkozy of France had the gall to support his Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner’s statement, “For the time being, no improvement in troops.” Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel is playing a political waiting game, too.

Our government and European leaders are all speaking political double-talk, and not accomplishing the real job of winning the War in Afghanistan. While diplomats drink tea in lavish surroundings, brave American troops are wounded and dying propping up a corrupt government. It is time to win this war or get the hell out of Afghanistan once and for all time. Our government is guilty of ignoring the history of this arm pit of the world, but we insist that they should have a democracy just like ours. Well they do, it is corrupt just like Washington, but our troops are paying the price of our leadership’s ignorance and arrogance. The Afghanistan situation is just plain ghastly and inexcusable.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Growing up in the Land of Lincoln (Illinois) I thought I knew quite a bit about our much revered President Abraham Lincoln. It was not until I read a special Time magazine book that I really appreciated the unique qualities that composed his true greatness. To say that Lincoln was a complex man is common knowledge, but to really understand his magnitude one must delve into a detailed examination of this truly great leader.

In order to avoid any copyright problems let me specifically state that this is a review of Time’s 2009 Home Entertainment publication titled “Abraham Lincoln - An Illustrated History of His Life and Times.” I do this specifically to prevent incarceration or financial penalty.

This book contains a wonderfully supportive pictorial presentation that enhances the text from the Introduction, Lincoln’s Youth, Illinois Lawyer, National Stage, and the Civil War. Each segment of the book contributes to an improved understanding and appreciation of Lincoln’s contribution to not only his country, but mankind.

Personally, I found the portion of the work titled “The Master of the Game” written by noted historian Doris Kearns Goodwin to be a pivotal contribution. She writes “When he arrived in Washington he didn’t have much political experience, but Lincoln’s emotional strengths made him a natural.” Kearns Goodwin lists several vital characteristics that made Lincoln highly successful in the long run. Empathy, Magnanimity, Generosity of Spirit, Perspective, Self-Control, A Sense of Balance, and A Social Conscience all contributed to making Lincoln the long honored figure he has become.

Personally I believe Lincoln’s magnanimity was a major contributor to his historical and long lasting achievements. His bold action in selecting his major opponents to fill his Cabinet is a perfect example of keeping your friends close, and your enemies closer.

Far be it from me to attempt to draw any comparisons of our current leadership to Lincoln, because the two are not even in the same league. Your Commander will state emphatically, however, that there was never a time in which we could benefit from a man with the qualities Lincoln presented and possessed. He truly deserves to sit peacefully in stone in our nation’s capitol. God truly blessed Abraham Lincoln, and he blessed The United States of America, too, when he brought him to our Presidency.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009


As the United States Senate met in an extremely rare weekend session attempting to formulate acceptable details on a Health Care Reform Bill that will garner the necessary 60 votes, there is still time to register your sentiments to your elected officials. We all should remember that people around the world have given their lives in an effort to acquire the right to be part of the political process, but we Americans take it for granted.

It is not too late for you to voice your opinion to the proposed legislation. I strongly urge you to participate in the process. There is no question that some kind of health care reform must take place, but is this the kind of bill you want? The significance of a Health Care Bill will have lasting influence to our daily lives and our quality of life, so do not pass up the opportunity to make your voice heard in Washington, DC.

My wife and I have individually contacted our Senators and even our House Representatives and rendered our opinions and urged our elected officials to vote according to the will of their constituents and not their self-serving special interest campaign contributors. It is your responsibility to act as a concerned citizen before it is too late. It is essential that we remind our elected officials that they work for us, and not themselves. Have you acted responsibly?


Monday, December 7, 2009


Your Commander clearly remembers just where he was and specifically what he was doing 68 years ago. It was a Sunday morning and I was lying on the floor of our living room in our 3rd floor walk up apartment on the south side of Chicago. I was 10 years old and was reading the comic section of “The Chicago Tribune.” Our floor model Philco radio was tuned to “Hawaii Calls,” a popular program, which broadcast from a beach front location in Honolulu. My Dad was out getting our car washed, and my Mom was preparing Sunday Dinner.

When the Japanese planes attacked Pearl Harbor from their naval carriers off the coast of Hawaii, it was immediately reported on the radio and my Mom and I immediately knew that my Dad would be involved because he was a Captain in the Illinois Army National National Guard’s 33rd Infantry Division. Dad quickly returned and we all sat around the radio listening to all the sad details of death and destruction occurring to the Navy’s Pacific Fleet and the planes at Hickam Field.

Dad, although called for service at age 51, failed his vision test and did remain home with us. Until his last breath he was upset that he was unable to be a direct part of the war effort. He was, however, an executive in the steel business and probably had a larger effect on the war than he ever imagined.

The day after the attack President Franklin D. Roosevelt went before a joint session of Congress, and said, “Yesterday, December 7, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy- the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.” War was declared immediately. In addition, Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, who planned the attack, summed up the result of the Pearl Harbor assault, “I fear we have awakened a sleeping giant and instilled in him a terrible resolve.” Little did he know his words would be so prophetic.

I feel it is my duty to remind those who do not directly remember the events of December 7, 1941. The results of that attack changed the world as was known at the time. September 11, 2001 has had a comparable effect, attacking civilians in a city, not military personnel on a base, and the free world again felt a sea change.

I suggest that you take a moment when you read this to honor the veterans who have served this country since its inception 233 years ago and those who are serving today. They represent everything our democracy was founded upon.


Sunday, December 6, 2009


Our society-worshipping, celebrity gossip airwaves and newspapers are filled with the latest breaking news about Tiger Woods. Frankly, I am disgusted and could care less what Tiger does off the golf course. Salacious conduct is not something that peaks my interest.

What I truly find most disturbing is that my fellow citizens of the world are craving to know every detail of this sordid Tiger tale. I have long held great respect for Tiger’s father, Colonel Earl Woods, for his legendary military service to our country. While serving his country he and his wife raised Tiger to be one of the best golfers in the history of the game. Although Earl and Koltilda made their son one of the wealthiest men in the world through golf, they failed totally in making him a man, husband, father we could and should respect due to his off the course behavior.

During these difficult economic times the game of golf has enough problems, and Tiger’s scandal won’t do it any favors. Any sponsor who continues to fund Woods after this date has lost my respect, and proven that they are into his sponsorship only for what his endorsement might bring to them without concern for his moral character. Before anyone suggests that I am casting the first stone please remember that I am not a celebrity, and it is Tiger who has frequently complained about his lost of privacy while collecting huge sums of money for his elite star status. No one ever said that glory came cheaply.

It is time for Tiger to stop talking out of both sides of his mouth. If he wants to earn the golf fan’s and the world’s respect, it is time for him to be a solid honest husband, father, and keep his fly zipped closed when he is away from his house.

Most will say that his indiscretions are totally a private manner, but once he stepped into the public’s eye reaping billions of dollars, he gave up any hope for privacy. Why were the likes of Arnold Palmer, and Jack Nicholas able to live in the lime light, and still be faithful to both their fans and families? The answer is simple…they are men deserving our respect and admiration…they are men of principal with a heavy dose of humility.


Thursday, December 3, 2009


Like millions of Americans, Tuesday evening I viewed President Barack Obama’s teleprompter assisted speech announcing his decision on our future course of action in the Afghanistan War. I suspect you will be surprised to learn that I endorse his plan to send an additional 30,000 brave young American troops to strengthen our fighting forces in this historically god-forsaken pest hole. I agree, too, that we must address the aggressors at their source before they can strike again here in the United States.

Before you get the impression that I have had a total conversion to the smooth talking utterances of our President, let me assure you that I am totally opposed to his announced plan to start withdrawing forces from Afghanistan in July, 2011. Anyone who ever served our country in the military (Obama and most of his inner-circle never have) knows full well that one never tells the enemy what, when, and how you intend to fight a war. Tragically, our President has again made decisions based upon political considerations, and failed to send a strong, clear message that we are there to win. Already today his spin stooges are working to negate the concerns being expressed by Congress and Americans across our country.

For a man with the educational background that is so frequently referred to, I continue to be shocked by the degree of naïveté he displays. As I recently wrote there is a right way to address an issue and there is a political way, and again our Chicago trained President has chosen to bow to political pressures in hopes of maintaining his popularity with his political base. When you are fighting a war and are the president, you have taken an oath to represent all the people and not just your political supporters. Our brave soldiers are not political fodder.

Another issue that peeves me significantly is Obama’s continued disregard for growing financial waste. Why was it necessary to spend many millions of dollars to give the speech at West Point, and not in the White House? His action to fly substantial resources at great expense to West Point was nothing but a politically motivated photo opportunity. Our President has again thumbed his nose at the American public’s growing concern about our financial debt, and has yet to provide one single indication that he intends to fulfill his campaign promise to review line by line all expense items. Obama is just like the old Southern Senator I personally heard say…”Son, just because I said it doesn’t mean it is so”.

Obama’s actions will result in the death and lasting injury to hundreds of fellow American fighting men and women, but telling the enemy what we intend to do defies historical reality. This hell hole must be confronted once and for all, but historical reality should tell our supposedly scholarly president that these people have been fighting among themselves since before the time of Christ, and they will continue to do so into the future. Conquest after conquest has not changed the tribal in-fighting over the centuries and Obama’s approach disregards that fact.

Lastly, as I have addressed in previous essays, where was any mention of the blatant production of poppies in Tuesday's pronouncement? If Obama is so concerned about placating the local population he cannot permit the continued cultivation of poppies that directly leads to death and destruction back here in America. Since we are financially propping up a corrupt government why can’t we tell them the drug game is over NOW, not at some date in the future? It is time to burn the damn poppy fields to the ground or else it is apparent that the fix is in.

Anyone who thinks American troops will be coming home in 2011 is simply consumed by wishful thinking. It is not going to happen, because we apparently do not have the will to win under this current leadership. If that is really the case then we should start coming home now, and save hundreds of American lives. Our President is taking us down the path of massive spending in Afghanistan, nation building that won’t work, and is disregarding historical realities.

It is one thing to be a humanitarian, and it is another to be deluded. The Taliban and Al Qaeda are sitting comfortably in their caves this morning. They will wait until 2011 while they kill our soldiers and then come back stronger after they refill their pockets with a flood of American aid dollars.

I pray I am wrong, but this time I think I will live to tell my opposition that I told them so. Fortunately I am smart enough to not tell you what I really think we should do in this rectal area of the planet. Just remember that old statement, “Nice guys don’t win ballgames,”


Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Reading my copy of the “American Patriot’s Almanac” my interest to investigate Mark Twain further was sparked when it was noted that the legendary humorist and political commentator was born on November 30, 1835 in Florida, Missouri. When I searched for further information I learned the following insight to this famous American.

Twain is quoted to have said, “There is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress,” and then in a Boston speech in 1890 he expressed his scorn for European snobs who looked down on America.

“If I look harried and worn, it is not from an ill conscience. It is from sitting up nights to worry about the foreign critic. He won’t concede that we have a civilization----a “real” civilization…[H]e said we had never contributed anything to the betterment of the world…

What is a “real” civilization? [Let us suppose it is one without despotic government and near-universal inequality, ignorance, and poverty. In that case] there are some partial civilizations scattered around Europe---pretty lofty civilizations they are, but who begot them? What is the seed from which they sprang? Liberty and intelligence. What planted that seed? There are dates and statistics which suggest that it was the American Revolution that planted it. When that revolution began, monarchy had been on trial some thousands of years, over there, and was a distinct and convicted failure… [W]e hoisted the banner of revolution and raised the first genuine shout for human liberty that had ever been heard…

Who summoned the French slaves to rise and set the nation free? We did it. What resulted in England and on the Continent? Crippled liberty took up its bed and walked. From that day to this its march has not halted, and please God it never will. We are called the nation of inventors. And we are. We could still claim that title and wear its loftiest honors, if we had contributed nothing! Nothing hurts me like ingratitude.”

While those words were uttered over one hundred years ago they continue to be a sound appraisal of the situation then and now. One wonders if our current leader President Barack Obama ever read Twain’s works or words, because he certainly has bowed to European interests during the earliest days of his administration. Why would he want to take us backward and not forward as the real leader of the free world? There are those among us who suspect that he envisions himself as the ultimate leader of one world, United Nations governance. This subject sure gives me pause to contemplate Obama’s true intentions.