The Reason for the Season ...

... is, after all, very simple and direct, as this:

And it came to pass, that in those days there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that the whole world should be enrolled. This enrolling was first made by Cyrinus, the governor of Syria. And all went to be enrolled, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem: because he was of the house and family of David, to be enrolled with Mary his espoused wife, who was with child.

And it came to pass, that when they were there, her days were accomplished, that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him up in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds watching, and keeping the night watches over their flock. And behold an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the brightness of God shone round about them; and they feared with a great fear.

And the angel said to them: Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, that shall be to all the people:

For, this day, is born to you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David. And this shall be a sign unto you. You shall find the infant wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army, praising God, and saying:

Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace to men of good will.

And it came to pass, after the angels departed from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another: Let us go over to Bethlehem, and let us see this word that is come to pass, which the Lord hath shewed to us. And they came with haste; and they found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger.

And seeing, they understood of the word that had been spoken to them concerning this child. And all that heard, wondered; and at those things that were told them by the shepherds.

But Mary kept all these words, pondering them in her heart.

And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God, for all the things they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Luke 2 verses 1-20 Douay-Rheims American Edition Bible (1899)

This is the one day of the year when I am NOT spinning. Tis a time for reflection, contemplation, and JOY. A Very Merry Christmas to you all!!!


Blaggo ... the "Missing Stooge"???

Normally, photos don't show up here. What with a spirits (super)natural aversion to same, we never get our "good side" to show up . The irony of a newspaperman, now having to forgo same is not lost on me. So ...

An opportunity to address this came up a few days back. Whilst looking out over the vast amount of wit and wisdom residing on this up and coming medium, I found an interesting picture of Illinois current "Commander and Thief", (He is the head of our National Guard after all.) over at a place called Vodkapundit . And I was struck by the similarity between him, and one of cinema's well known comedic "thugs". So I submit for your approval:

Coincidence or is there more here then meets the eye??

I shall let you, good readers all, to be the judge.


Corruption in Politics

Corruption in politics. This is nothing new, it has been with us, to some degree or another, since man exited caves and came together in mud huts. But leave it to my former home state (my current residence being some what more nebulous) in finding a way to get beyond "lowering the bar", in removing said bar "in-toto".

The great state of Illinois, or as some wags refer to it (and rightly so), "The People's Republic of Illinois", has the dubious honor of being the only state in the union who has had it's last two Governors serve time in federal institutions of correction. Now it appears they are going for "The Crossbar Hilton Hat trick ™ ". This morning saw federal agents formally apprehending the current Governor, Rod Blagojevich and his Chief of Staff, charging them with numerous counts of corruption. One would expect the specific charges will come out at his forthcoming hearing.

Sigh, the more things change ... back when I was a (much) younger man, I took an aggressive stance against the corruption in my day. Though one is never naive enough to think we will rid ourselves of all corruption, the effort should be made to strive toward that goal. It should also be noted, back in the day, the smart grafter knew there was a line not to cross. Some things and areas were not to be touched. Schooling, hospitals, various "family communities" were traditionally "off limits".

These days it would seem this is not the case. From the current president-elect (or at best, members of his inner circle) to members of the congress/senate, to members and agents of any given State or large city. There is a cult of "I am going to get mine, and to hell with the rest of you". This is not exclusive to the party of progressives, there have been more than a handful of conservative/Republicans who have fed at this trough. And the numbers are not decreasing, if anything, they are on the rise.

It is up to each of you (I am but a spirit, a voice in the wilderness) to at any level you can, combat this. Write letters to your representatives. Let them know "you are watching". That the right and proper way to conduct business is the only way to conduct business. It matters not which side of the aisle they are on. Remind them who placed them in the positions they are in ... an who can, come the next election cycle remove them.

I know I am an old voice, though by far not the oldest spirit looking down on this great nation, who knows this nation came to be by divine providence. And that same divine spirit, desires nothing more then for us to strive toward the inherent good residing in us all. As long as we follow this, it cannot be possible for a culture of corruption to exist.

Let your voice be heard. This must be addressed. For if not then the rule of law will be nothing then a joke. And when that comes to pass can Anarchy be very far behind?


No Longer "The Worlds Greatest Newspaper"

One spends the majority of their adult life building something. Throws their heart and soul into it. Wither it is following a dream, or realizing an invention brought to life, or as was my case, taking what was a regional metropolitan (daily) paper and turning it into literally the voice of the Midwest. A voice recognized world wide.

The Chicago Tribune: "the Worlds Greatest Newspaper".

Now it seems, like myself, she may soon be laid to rest. My child is dying, so it would seem, by it's on volition. Some may point to poor choices made by management (since my demise, of course). Others, to the rising costs of running and producing a paper in this electronic day and age. I tend to think it is more along the lines of this:

When an institution, noted for it's conservative nature (let alone it's staunchly conservative roots), looses sight of this, floating ever more to the left in editorial philosophy and in the content of it's "news". It is no small wonder that is shall wither and die. What is so very sad is having it done by it's own hand.

Case in point; "The Chicago Tribune Endorses Barack Obama".

Never has a more telling stake been driven into ones heart then this. That my progeny has fallen so far from where I left her less then 55 years ago....

There are no mere words with which to express the pain ... the loss ... and so

I remain, spinning ever faster,

The Col.


Advisers and Confidants

Illinois "favorite son", president-elect Barack Obama held a press conference today. It was the soon to be "Dear Leader" of America's "official outing" of his inner-circle of "advisers and confidants". (I realize a President has a "cabinet", but a "Dear Leader" has "advisers and confidants", so much more dramatic that way, and they do better when knowing exactly where their place is in the scheme of things.)

First to be "officially anointed", was the junior Senator from New York, Hillary Clinton. She will become Secretary of State. A job the good Senator is eminently qualified for due to her vast experience in ... dodging imaginary bullets while visiting our brave men and women serving in Iraq. (Whom, one assumes, as evidenced by various photos, would have found KP duty a more preferable option.) Or perhaps it is her ability to "nuance". Though her husband, the renowned former philanderer-in-chief husband, is far better at this, still she has the nack. This ability to "nuance" is considered vital when dealing with not only our allies, but in affecting change in how we deal with our advisories as well. One only has to look at how well it worked with North Korea's Kim Jong-il, and Saddam Hussein, during the Clinton Presidency, to understand it's effectiveness in achieving our foreign policy ends.

Robert Gates is to stay on as Secretary of Defense. Perhaps this is the "fig leaf of bipartisanship", which the president-elect will taut should the need arise. Used to cover up other glaring deficiencies ... in his cabinet. Gates has been a team player in the Bush cabinet. One wonders if he will be able to continue doing the same after January 21st. I would be willing to bet if there is any major eruption in terrorist activity where we have military boots on the ground, or Madam Secretary Clinton needs to point a finger somewhere; (As in the military should have been prepared in being able to drag my chestnuts outta this foreign policy mistake ... err "tactical error" I've found myself US in.) "Why wasn't Gates on top of this?". He will be the sacrificial lamb.

Eric Holder as Attorney General looks to be another place holder. Though he was present in some form or another under Regan, George Bush senior, as well as the Clinton Presidency, he will undoubtedly try to advance Obama's agenda(s) as far as possible. Though, as it seems Obama's stated agenda on any particular point of policy changes more often then the direction of the prevailing wind in an occluded front, it may be a tougher nut to handle then appears at first blush. I get the feeling, this gent may also be short lived, job wise.

Janet Napolitano, currently the Governor of Arizona, slated for the Secretary of Homeland Security. Ironically enough, she has more executive experience then the president-elect, yet serves at the Clinton's ... err "HIS" pleasure. Other then having served on Anita Hill's legal team (against that most evil of Supreme Court Justices, Clarence Thomas -- yes, my tongue is firmly planted in cheek--), and being a Democratic Party apparatchik, one wonders what qualifications she brings to the Homeland Security table. Oh, that's right, this particular branch of the government may soon be obsolete (or dramatically down-sized) under Obama's shinning light of "truth, justice, and the USSA way".

Dr. Susan Rice, the next Ambassador to the United Nations. Though she is very well educated, here and abroad, Secretary of State Madeline Albright is a longtime mentor and family friend to Rice. My friends, the last half of the last sentence says it all.. We have here, yet another member (albeit, a junior one) from the Clinton team, who has made the jump to the Obama "A" team. This may be another player who finds themselves out at the first sign of ruffled feathers, as this Dr. Rice seems to be intellectually up to the task (Admittedly, she has her head in the liberal mindset of "it's a one world after all, but she at least has studied something other then law and politics, however wrong headed she may be.) but may lack the political savvy to dodge any trouble sent her way.

General James Jones, soon to be the next National Security Advisor, has been a Marine with a solid record of service to his country. Here is hoping he is able to add to this honorable record, as Obama's National Security Advisor. (Yes, we wonder how long he will remain in that post, before his honor and or conscience demand otherwise.)

Rahm Emanuel, already selected as Obama's White House Chief of Staff, rounds out the main movers and shakers of the incoming Lords and Ladies in waiting, for the "anointed one". Although it is claimed Emanuel is "pro-Israel" and will take a fairly strong stance for American-Israeli relations, it should be remembered he was deeply involved in the Oslo accords between the PLO, the US, and Israel. And we know how well that worked out.

Like many of the others, Emanuel is not only part of the large Clinton entourage returning to the Oval office, (Will Monica, or someone of the same ilk, be far behind?) he has strong roots in Chicago politics (Obama's political birth place) as well. This brings up a number of concerns. Will this administration end up enslaved to the tea leaves, better known as "the polls", in determining everything from domestic to foreign policies? Or, as I suspect, will this supposedly "middle of the road" and "greatest collection of minds brought together ever!" in reality, be nothing more then a smoke screen?

A smoke screen covering up (especially for the first 100 days or so) the real political leanings of this "emperor-elect". That of pushing this country well past a purely socialist (and allegedly moderate socialism at that) to a full blown Marxist ideal. Remember this group and it's cardboard leader are all for building a utopia. Even if said utopia is at the expense of personal freedoms and liberties as spelled out in the constitution. Even if it costs every last dime the (shrinking) middle class and higher has at their disposal. For this is the anointed one. The bringer of hope and change. Leader of the elite who do know what is best for us all (wither it is or not ... it is because they say so). FDR would be proud of this poseur. And somewhere (very very warm I might add) Karl Marx is shedding a tear of joy.

As for me, I remain spinning still,

The Col.


A Perfect Example ...

of what transpires when you replace a facet of what was considered traditional education, with something more "diverse" and "well rounded". In this case, we are talking about the lack of what used to be called "civics". This has been replaced with what is currently called "Social Science Survey" (at least at the High School level). I doubt anything approaching civics is even broached at the seventh or eighth grade levels.

Why bring this up you ask? Well, as evidenced by his empty suit and lighter then helium campaign, the Chicago political machine production, otherwise known as Barack Obama, still "won" the election, thanks in at least part to the lack of anything resembling civics being taught in our schools. This would be the case for say the last 30 years or so.

Need more "proof". Then my friends, go here. And by all means, take the 33 question test. See how you score. But more importantly, look at what the average scores were for the rest of the test takers ...
Are you more knowledgeable than the average citizen? The average score for all 2,508 Americans taking the following test was 49%; college educators scored 55%. Can you do better? Questions were drawn from past ISI surveys, as well as other nationally recognized exams.

Oh, and for what it was worth, yours truly " answered 30 out of 33 correctly — 90.91 % ". Not too bad for one who hasn't cracked a book in some 53 years. (The spirit may move you ... but has a duce of a time turning a page.)

For those of you old enough to remember civics, perhaps this last election should be proof enough to seriously consider bringing it back into the curriculum. But I fear it may be too little too late.

I remain, rapidly rotating,

The Col.


Office of the President-Elect???

I can understand and appreciate the individual who either holds the titular title of "Leader of the Free World" must have a strong sense of self-worth, and a thick hide. I don't know of a single President (and I have met with most
on the other side of the vail) regardless of their personalities, that didn't. But not even FDR, for all that man's callus disregard for the Constitution, and his ego driven socialistic demagogary, would have had the hubris to come up
with an "Official Office of the President Elect".

Yes, I am well aware there is "The Presidential Transition Act of 1963", and it does spell out what the federal government allows for regarding the smooth transition of power between the current holder of the office, and those who will be assuming same. In this day and age this is a smart and prudent thing to do. One would have hoped it would have been kept relatively low keyed, and done with a modicum of decorum/respect for the current holder of the office.

That this man has no class is becoming more self-evident with each passing day. This empty suit of nebulous ideas has already besmirched the wife of a late President. That President-Elect Obama, takes liberties with the Presidential Seal, which might be excused if done by a satirist, or perhaps someone putting on a production in ones barn somewhere, only goes to show his showboating mentality, and is tacky at best.

If I were still a thing of this earth, of flesh and blood, I would require a large glass; occupied with a good single malt scotch, brought to me forthwith. My blood pressure, state of mind, and my nerves would be in dyer need of calming.

I remain, spinning quite rapidly still,

The Col.



As my first entry was more or less an introduction as to who I am (or rather, who I used to be) I felt it only right and proper to provide a legitimate commentary as well.

I guess one should feel somewhat charitable toward the new office holder, especially when his winning of the largest political brass ring only came about this morning. And so to start this bit of oratory, I , the Col. , wish President-elect Obama well ... and may he be able to quickly melt said brass ring as soon as possible, turning it into a very large set of brass balls. Heaven knows with all that he has promised, and with how the enemies of this great nation view him, he is going to need them!

This bit of prose should be quite interesting as I am fresh from the other side of the vale, so perhaps my "enlightened viewpoint" may be of some worth. Shall we take a look into the crystal ball?

1. Okay, I am fudging on this one a bit. After all our Vice President-in-waiting, Joesph Biden, has probably let this cat out of the bag already.

"Mark my words. It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking," ... "Remember I said it standing here. if you don't remember anything else I said. Watch, we're gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy. And he's gonna have to make some really tough -- I don't know what the decision's gonna be, but I promise you it will occur. As a student of history and having served with seven presidents, I guarantee you it's gonna happen,"

My guess is, the good Senator Biden was really doing one of two things:

A) He was being that "master of foreign policy" that he is well known to be, and in so many words "throwing down the diplomatic gauntlet". In reality (I never expected to be using the word "reality" in the same sentence with the words "Senator Biden", but there is always a first time, even for this ol shade.) challenging our advisaries to do their damnedest against that shinning knight of hope and change President-elect Obama. Surely Biden knows more then most the true mettle of the man or he would not have been so cavalier.


B) Mr. Biden, in fact, has some information which he is not at liberty to share with (the rest of) us. Of some skulduggery waiting to be foisted on our newly minted Commander-in-Chief. And need I remind you all President-elect Obama has no military training/experience what so ever. John F Kennedy served his country with distinction in World War II, and he struggled mightily with the Communist horde. Even that craven coward of a man Jimmy Carter, had not only military schooling (the best the country offered) and a chance to learn under the best of them, in the Navy (for what very little good it did him or the country). Obama has nothing, and our enemies (and fair weather friends abroad) know it.

But as much as it pains me to do so (And hope to never do so again!) I have to agree with Senator Biden on this one. Obama will be tested ... if not in the first 60 days in office, positively before his first year is out.

2. The price of oil will never see 3 dollars a gallon again. (How do you Americans put up with this? Back when I was driving if it was above 15 cents a gallon ... there would have been a blistering editorial in a certain Chicago daily you could have bet on that!!) Harrumph... As I was saying, you all will never pay 3 dollars a gallon at the pumps. Because we will have either destroyed most of the middle east or will be hostage to the same part of the world which provides the crude. If you are lucky you might see it fall below 5 dollars a gallon !!

3. Marijuana will become legal. This will be "by degrees". First stage will be medicinal use only, followed by out and out you can grow your own with no penalty as "the masses" realize the government pills are not "potent" enough. The final stage will be the allowing for existing tobacco companies to produce it and the government to tax same at all levels. Sadly, this will become the "opiate of the masses".

It would appear my crystal ball is fogging up. Or perhaps it is over heating. Heaven knows my blood pressure would be sky high about now were I still in corporeal form.

And as always when dealing with prognostications of any sort, remember the following. This is only, as Charles Dickens (Sigh, heaven must be causing me to mellow somewhat. This is the second quote from a socialist in the same day!!) mentioned in "Scrooge";

"Men's courses will foreshadow certain ends, to which, if persevered in, they must lead," said Scrooge. "But if the courses be departed from, the ends will change. Say it is thus with what you show me!"

Thus it is so with mine. You have the power within you all to bring about a different course of action(s), then those foretold. Even now. Perhaps we will re-visit this again at some future point in time.

As always, I remain,

The Col.

Hello America and all the ships at sea!

Once one leaves "this mortal coil" and reunites with the Divine for all eternity, a span of 54 years counts as nothing. Indeed, at the time of my passing, I was at least somewhat comforted in knowing the main stream of America seemed to share in the majority of my (published) world views. My newspaper was a beacon of conservative light. Based on the bellowing of my rival publishers (in Chicago alone) I must have been doing something right, to have caused so much acrimony. Though I hoped things would remain more or less the same for some time after my passing, the wisdom gained as one grows older knows things never really remain the same.

Sadly, even I would never have guessed how much has changed. Nor how far our nation and civilization appears to have fallen. Still, I gave little if any thought to the affairs of man, as I took part in heaven's delights. That is until what would be the morning of your November 5th.

At first I wondered what would cause the strong desire in me to return to my final resting place. And why dear Lord, was my mortal remains rotating at such a high rate of speed? I looked, as one might suspect, to my first choice in news, the Chicago Tribune.

It can't be the new president elect ... after all he was endorsed by my beloved Tribune, so he must be of sound mind and upstanding character. Then I researched into this Barack Obama fellow. (It only took but a second of your earthly time ... we operate on a far different standard here.) What I found out ... made my soul cry out in angush !! My wonderful paper ... has willingly gotten behind the one man who for all intent and purposes is the reincarnation of that most vile of Presidential office holders, Franklin Delano Roosevelt!!

And so I have returned. Though it be only as a spirit. Perhaps my words can help return this great nation back to it's rightful path toward greatness. The path divinely granted to it and it's citizens. (What, you think your Constitution was entirly the product of man? Pray tell, where did their collective thoughts come from ? Divine inspiration is not just a flight of fancy!)

Those who would countenance rampant statism. Or others who willingly embrace the godlessness called Communism are nothing more then useful tools of the Dark one and his many agents. They must be stopped. This Obama must have a light shined upon him by any and all free thinking, freedom loving people which still exist in this great nation. I resolve not to return to peaceful slumber until this comes to pass.

I remain respectfully,
The voice of the people,
Hereafter known as,
"The Col."