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.