Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Amateur Night

Well,'s New Year's Eve - otherwise known as Amateur Night in the Cracker household. There will be a whole lotta people engaging in a whole lotta crazy later tonight. Grammy's advice? STAY HOME. Party your toes off in the warmth and safety of your own home. Then go to bed.

Hey. I hear that! But Grammy, it's no fun to stay home. All my friends are going out, and it's exciting, and they have free noise makers, and I bought a special outfit, and, and, and....

Whatever. If you must go out, remember the Amateur Night commandments:
  1. The driver of your vehicle shall remain sober.
  2. The drivers of all other vehicles shall be presumed drunk.
Following these two simple rules should help you get home safely. If you need more convincing, here's a visual for you - the Lynch & Sons Funeral Homes are offering free rides tonight. If you DO drink, don't drive! The Lynch family has cars and drivers waiting to give you a lift. Unless, of course, you'd rather wait and ride in one of their hearses.....

HAPPY NEW YEAR, CRUMB CRUNCHERS! Stay safe and have fun. I'll see you next year with fresh rants aplenty!

Diana Krall, 'What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?'

Michigan Arabs Protest Israel's Self-Defense

A collection of the usual suspects turned out on Tuesday to rally against Israel's use of force in Gaza. Arabs, 'clerics', members of the Green Party and 'other political groups' gathered in Dearborn, Michigan to form a human chain and chant slogans condemning Israel and President Bush.
In Dearborn, emotions ranged from fear for loved ones, to grief and anger. The protest was followed by a standing-room-only memorial service for those who have died in Gaza over the past week.

"I have two daughters in Palestine -- one of them has three children, two girls and a boy," said Iman Jasin, 48, of Dearborn, who protested on Warren Avenue.

She helped hold a sign that said, "Stop the Holocaust in Gaza," and led protesters in chanting.
Protesters angrily waved Palestinian flags and held banners and photos of Palestinians injured during four days of military airstrikes on a range of targets in the Hamas stronghold.

Many along Warren Avenue in Dearborn chanted "Down, Down Israel" and other angry slogans. Metro Detroit is home to about 10,000 to 15,000 Palestinians and about 75,000 Jews.
A local interfaith group called for a cease-fire, while area Jewish leaders voiced their continued support for the action in defense against repeated Hamas rocket fire into Israel.

"Hamas forced Israel to embark on this campaign by dramatically increasing its rocket attacks against Israeli civilians, firing as many as 60 on Christmas Eve alone," said Robert Cohen, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Metro Detroit. "Israel has to defend its citizens -- if there were a million Detroiters daily being showered with missiles from Windsor, our citizens would demand that our government do whatever it took to put a stop to it."
Where are the 'interfaith groups' calling for Hamas to stop bombing innocent Israelis? Why do the terrorist supporters parade around in 'peace scarves'? Where are the signs reading 'Victims of Islamic Hate'? Why aren't the Arabs more grateful for all President Bush and our State Department have done to undermine Israel's national security in the name of 'peace'?

These are, of course, rhetorical questions. We know perfectly well what the agenda is, and I have no 'hope' that the Obamastration will 'change' things for the better. Israel, defend thyself! Sadly, you can no longer count on the United States for even token moral support.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Chanukkah Begins

Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam
Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe

shehecheyanu v'kiyimanu v'higi'anu laz'man hazeh. (Amein)
who has kept us alive, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this season (Amen)

Lovely vocals and piano from Sha-Rone Kushnir to welcome the Festival of Lights.

Sha-Rone, 'Chanukkah'

Visit Judaism 101 for appropriate candle-lighting blessings as well as extensive education on the Jewish faith. It is especially helpful for Christians seeking a better understanding of the roots of our faith.

Old Time Gospel Sunday

Brooke Fraser (Hillsong), 'Nothing But the Blood of Jesus'

Friday, December 19, 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008

American Presidential Election Held... Today?

We're electing the president of the United States today. Really. From today's Detroit News:

...And the 2.88 million Michigan voters who mistakenly thought they were voting for Barack Obama on Nov. 4 were actually casting a ballot for Ida DeHaas, a 73-year-old dog breeder and great grandmother from Belmont, and 16 others who are mostly political unknowns.

It might also come as a surprise to the more than 125 million Americans who took part in the presidential contest six weeks ago that the winner hasn't yet been officially decided.

That's because the only vote that really counts is the one that occurs today when 538 members of the Electoral College gather in the 50 state capitals and in Washington, D.C., to vote.
Once the Electoral College votes today -- Obama is slated to get 365 votes and Republican Sen. John McCain will receive 173 -- the results will be transmitted to Washington. On Jan. 8, Vice President Dick Cheney will open and certify the results before a joint session of Congress and only then will the president be officially confirmed. Obama will be sworn in as president on Jan. 20.

What exactly IS the Electoral College? According to the official website,
The Electoral College, administered by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), is not a place. It is a process that began as part of the original design of the U.S. Constitution. The Electoral College was established by the founding fathers as a compromise between election of the president by Congress and election by popular vote. The people of the United States vote for the electors who then vote for the President.
Americans would benefit from a better understanding of all our national institutions and practices. Read up, kids. Then, when someone says Barack Obama was elected President of the United States on November 4, 2008, you will know better. Won't you?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Hell on Earth: Zimbabwe

The situation in Zimbabwe is now so dire even the New York Times cannot look away. In an editorial published today, the Times outlines the latest humanitarian nightmare wrought by Robert Mugabe: cholera.
Here are the fruits of Robert Mugabe’s rule of horrors: political chaos, economic collapse, desperate food shortages, violence and now a fierce cholera epidemic. Eight-hundred people have died. More than 16,000 are infected, and there is no end in sight.

The increasingly delusional Mr. Mugabe — Zimbabwe’s illegitimate president — announced on Thursday that the cholera crisis is over. Tell that to the Chigudu family which ... lost five children, aged 20 months to 12 years, in a matter of hours.
Water taps in the capital’s (Harare) dense suburbs went dry last week, so people could not wash their hands or food. Hospitals are closed. Garbage is everywhere. Sludge spews from burst sewer lines.

Zimbabwe is a country with breathtaking natural beauty, warm, generous people and abundant resources. I hope to return to the Lowveld someday, if Mugabe leaves behind anything to return to.

The Turgwe River

Is the Future of the GOP in Michigan?

Could a Michigan-born Lithuanian guy with a funny-sounding name hold the key to a national Republican renaissance? I think so. Meet Saulius, aka Saul, Anuzis (ah-new-sis), the energetic, youthful, conservative, talk-show-hopping, blogging-and-Twittering chairman of the Michigan GOP and candidate for chairman of the Republican National Committee.

Don't let Michigan's recent spate of bluer-than-blue-collar election returns fool you; we invented the Reagan Democrat here. We know a principled conservative when we see one. Trouble is, we haven't seen very many lately. Our national leadership (and I use that term loosely) has defaulted on principle and integrity, governed as Democrat-lite spendthrifts and wilted like week-old lettuce every time someone called them a name. Is it any wonder the American people lost faith in our ability to do much of anything well?

Unfortunately, some really good people got swept away with the chaff in the last two election cycles. Saul has a few ideas on how we might remedy the situation:
The Republican Party must shift toward the center say some pundits. Others urge a tilt to the right. The right answer is that our party must move forward as a party of ideas, innovation, and – yes – conservatism.

The first step is admitting that we were "thumped" in two straight elections not because of ideology but because of hypocrisy. What had been a party dedicated to the power of the American dream and individual freedom lost its way, mired in pork barrel spending and Wall Street bailouts. Barack Obama seized on this opportunity and won many Americans to his side by promising to deliver on our broken promises.
Thus begins an op-ed Saul published at He's right. Our ideas didn't lose - we didn't use them! He proposes a 3-step strategy for building a comeback: One idea at a time, one neighborhood at a time, one e-mail at a time.
What's next? Right now, voters don’t quite know what to expect from the Republican Party. But we do know what they expect from President Obama. Voters expect tax cuts, spending restraint, secure borders and strong national security. They also expect Obama to respect our nation's values and traditions and to restore our economic strength, not strangle it with excessive regulations and government intervention. Republicans must support President Obama when he meets those expectations, and we must oppose him vigorously when he doesn't.

But to be successful, our party must be more than a loyal opposition. Simply opposing the Democrats will guarantee another four years in the wilderness after Obama's re-election in 2012. We can build our new majority one idea at a time, one neighborhood at a time, and one email at a time. By sticking to our core values and focusing on delivering results, we can start our comeback and show America that Republicans are once again a party that keeps its promises and solves problems.
He also endorses the plan developed by the GOP activists at I join him in that endorsement and add one of my own; I endorse Saul for chairman of the RNC. There are a number of fine candidates, but Saul's experience and ability to use technology to its full potential put him ahead of the pack. We have not been tech-savvy, and that must change. I remind you that aggressive and innovative use of technology helped another guy with a funny-sounding name win the Presidency.

Alder Strobiles in the Snow

Friday, December 12, 2008

Car Tune Up

For our friends over at Generous Motors.... Good Luck.

The Beach Boys, "409"

Monday, December 8, 2008

Michigan Weather Report

Time, time, time, what's become of these guys? Were they ever really this young? Oy.

Simon & Garfunkel, "Hazy Shade of Winter"

UPDATE: Supremes Deny Donofrio Appeal

The Supreme Court has issued a denial of Leo Donofrio's emergency appeal without comment.
The application for stay addressed to Justice Thomas and referred to the Court is denied.
Several other suits, including Philip Berg's, are still working their way through the courts, but don't hold your breath waiting for any of them to be successful. As I noted in the first update this morning, even if the evidence of Constitutional ineligibility is overwhelming, negating the election is a Pandora's box no one is willing to open.

UPDATE: Supreme Court Mulls Obama Birth Lawsuit

The Washington Times has been covering the status of yet another lawsuit challenging Barack Obama's qualification to become President.

I have posted several times about the lawsuit brought by Philip Berg, but there are several others working their way through the courts. Leo Donofrio is the complainant in a suit picked up by Justice Clarence Thomas last week and reviewed by the Court on Friday.

The Supreme Court held off Friday on deciding whether to grant a hearing in a long-shot lawsuit that would decide whether Barack Obama can constitutionally become president as a "natural born" U.S. citizen.

The Friday list of court orders that denies or grants hearings did not mention the lawsuit, which says Mr. Obama should be disqualified from the presidency because he purportedly acquired the same British citizenship that his father had when he was born.

A spokesman for the court said the decision on whether to hear the suit brought by retired New Jersey lawyer Leo Donofrio is likely to be announced next week.

The entire article can be found here. While I find all of this quite interesting, the possibility of the Court taking any action to essentially undo the election is extremely remote. I have no doubt such a ruling would trigger civil war in this country - Constitutionality be damned. The time for any finding against Obama's qualifications was before he was elected.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Old Time Gospel Sunday

How about a little Bluegrass with your morning coffee?

Alison Krauss & Gillian Welch, "I'll Fly Away"

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thursday Morning Jazz Interlude

Here's some original jazz from a great Detroit artist...a nice mellow way to start your day!

Angelo Primo, "399"