"There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit." - President Ronald Reagan.

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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Copyright Certificate Received


At long last, I received my Certificate of Registration from the U.S. Copyright Office for The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan.

The reason I said "at long last" is that I submitted the registration over a year and a half ago. I had been concerned that the registration application never made it to them. I found that the check was cashed.

Still, it is nice to have the certificate in hand.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Mothra At Fifty



Today marks 50 years since the release of Mothra (1961) in Japan on July 30, 1961.

According to Wikipedia:

Mothra (モスラ, Mosura) is a 1961 monster movie from Toho Studios, directed by genre regular Ishirō Honda with special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya. It is the kaiju eiga debut of screenwriter Shinichi Sekizawa, whose approach to the genre grew to prominence during the 1960s. The film stars Frankie Sakai, a popular comedian in Japan at the time, and Hiroshi Koizumi, in the first of many academic roles he would adopt in tokusatsu. Jerry Ito (transliterated as "Jelly Ito" in the credits of the U.S. release) stars in the film, his only contribution to Toho's kaiju eiga genre. Ito also appeared in 1958's Japanese/US co-production "The Manster" (a.k.a. "The Split"), and in Toho's 1961 end-of-the-world science fiction feature "Sekai Daisensou" ("The Last War").

It's basic plot was recycled in King Kong vs. Godzilla and Mothra vs. Godzilla (1962 and 1964, both also written by Sekizawa), and the daikaiju Mothra would become one of Toho's most popular, appearing in seven more Godzilla films and her own trilogy in the 1990s.




The movie also marks the first appearance of Tokyo Tower in a daikaiju eiga movie. Mothra uses the partially-toppled tower as an anchor for its cocoon.

Mothra has been honored by Toho Studios with a mural just down a driveway from the main entrance of the studio (photo above). Toho Studios is located in the Setagaya ward of Tokyo.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

L.A.'s Red-Light Camera Scam: It Was "Voluntary" All Along!


This evening, I was listening to KABC-AM Talk Radio and a subject was announced that caught my attention: the red-light photo ticket program has been killed by the Los Angeles City Council. But the part that caught my attention was that paying the ticket was "voluntary" all along. What?!








According to the Los Angeles Times:

City officials this week spotlighted a surprising revelation involving red-light camera tickets: Authorities cannot force violators who simply don't respond to pay them. For a variety of reasons, including the way the law was written, Los Angeles officials say the fines for ticketed motorists are essentially "voluntary" and there are virtually no tangible consequences for those who refuse to pay.

The disclosure comes as the city is considering whether to drop the controversial photo enforcement program, with the City Council scheduled to vote on the matter Wednesday. Even if the program is shut down, it will be little consolation to the tens of thousands like Brickman who already paid fines.


The city dropped the program today.

I am one of those who paid a red-light camera ticket earlier this year. The fine: $476.

The Times' article goes on:

Legal questions about how intensely the city can enforce red-light camera tickets have been circulating at City Hall for months, and some officials have been publicly decrying the problem for some time. But many motorists were shocked this week to read reports that the Los Angeles Police Commission and elected officials consider payment of the hefty fines and fees to be "voluntary."


I called into KABC-AM Talk Radio tonight and was the first caller put on the air on this topic. I said that this revelation "smelled like a rotten fish" and people who paid the tickets should start a class-action lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles and the red-light camera ticket contractor for being coerced into paying "under false pretenses." It was also revealed that a number of city council members took campaign money from the contractor. Big surprise!

The final paragraph in the Los Angeles Times article (which I read after my call into KABC) said that a class-action lawsuit is being looked into:

Although refunds may not yet be available to those like Brickman who paid their tickets, Sherman Ellison, an attorney who has dealt with "hundreds" of such traffic cases, said some class-action lawyers are watching the Los Angeles County situation closely and determining whether there would be grounds for a lawsuit to recover red-light camera penalties.


If Ellison decides to proceed, he can count me in!

To read the full article go here.

Japan Trying To Salvage Summer Tourist Season

Above, the clock tower of the Wako Department Store in Ginza.

The Montreal Gazette is reporting that Japan's efforts to salvage its summer tourist season continues:

LOS ANGELES - Still recovering from March’s devastating earthquake and tsunami, Japan is stepping up efforts to draw foreign travelers, even recruiting Lady Gaga to spread the word that much of Japan is safe for visitors.

As part of the effort to lure visitors before the summer travel season ends, the Japan National Tourism Organization recently posted online the radiation levels for downtown Tokyo that the tourism group says are lower than in tourist destinations such as New York, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Among the group’s efforts are online videos of race car drivers, ice skaters and other celebrities, including Lady Gaga, urging travelers to visit the country.

"I can’t say enough to people all over the world that the majority of Japan ... is very safe," the singer says in an online video shot before a benefit concert in Tokyo in June.


Besides concerns over radiation levels, the high cost of airfares is another factor in retarding tourism:

But Japan’s tourism industry faces several hurdles, including lingering fear among foreign travelers about potential radiation hazards and increasing fuel prices that keep airfares to Japan high.

"Some people are still kind of hesitant because of the radiation," said Yuki Koguchi, manager of Japan Deluxe Tour, a travel agency in Gardena, Calif. "Summer is popular for families to travel to Japan, but many are not booking because the parents are worried about taking kids there."

In addition, airfares to Japan have continued to climb with the increase in jet fuel prices over the last few months. For example, an economy seat on a round trip from Los Angeles to Tokyo on Japan Airlines costs nearly $1,300 per person, including nearly $600 in fuel surcharges.

After the disaster, the number of U.S. visitors to Japan dropped about 45 percent in March compared with the same month last year, according to preliminary statistics from the Japan National Tourism Organization. The tourism group estimates that American tourist numbers dropped 55 percent in April and 38 percent in May, compared with those months in 2010.


The article fails to mention that the U.S. dollar has lost ground against the Japanese yen in value over the past several months. Today, the rate of exchange between the dollar and yen is 1.00 USD = 77.9060 JPY.* This needs to be addressed if Japan's tourism industry hopes to draw more American tourists.

To read the full article, go here.

*Source: Universal Currency Converter.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sushi Go 55 and Little Tokyo Galleria & Marketplace



Finally, a full day off. It was a busy day, but a fun one, running around with Jessica. We finished it off with sushi and sashimi at Sushi Go 55 at the Little Tokyo Galleria and Marketplace in downtown Los Angeles (333 S. Alameda Street, #317).

I was gratified to see the Little Tokyo Galleria and Marketplace to be busy. There were more shops in the the mall since the last time I visited it. Sushi Go 55 in the Galleria was happily busy tonight.

Sushi Go 55 was the winner of the 2005 Sushi Pioneer Award, the Best of Citysearch 2006 Best Sushi Award and the 2006 Downtown News Best Sushi Award.

Originally, Sushi Go 55 was called "Godzilla Sushi," but Toho Co., Ltd. objected. At least, that's what the manager told me a few years ago.

Monday, July 25, 2011

"Japan Safe For Monster Fan Tourists" In Asia Travel Guides


Asia Travel Guides has picked up the Anime News Network's feed on "Japan Safe For Monster Fan Tourists."

Asia Travel Guides describes itself as:

Asia Travel Guides is a aggregator of content for the topic Asia Travel Guides.


To see the website, go here.

Left, the Godzilla statue at the main entrance to Toho Studios.

"Japan Safe For Monster Fan Tourists" In 3anime



3anime.com has posted the full press release article, "Japan Safe For Monster Fan Tourists" along with photo.

About 3anime.com:

3anime started out as an anime video streaming, the site owner (our master lol) Tosh decided to shift away from providing illegally obtained copyrighted content. Fast forward a few months.. 3anime now tries its best to cover worthwhile news stories from the anime and manga scene and also cover from time-to-time stories in the gaming world.


To see 3anime.com's posting, go here.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Reading The Ian Fleming James Bond Books


For the past week or so, I started reading Ian Fleming's James Bond books in the order of publication. I was motivated into doing so by a friend in New Zealand.

Last week, I read Casino Royale and I am now almost finished with Live and Let Die. The next will be Moonraker.

Years ago I bought almost all of Fleming's 007 novels at a used bookstore. I read From Russia With Love and Dr. No immediately thereafter. Since then they've sat on my bookcase.

In case you're wondering what publishing order the Fleming novels were brought to the public, here's the list:

Casino Royale (1953)

Live And Let Die (1954)

Moonraker (1955)

Diamonds Are Forever (1956)

From Russia With Love (1957)

Doctor No (1958)

Goldfinger (1959)

For Your Eyes Only (1960)

Thunderball (1961)

The Spy Who Loved Me (1962)

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1963)

You Only Live Twice (1964)

The Man With The Golden Gun (1965)

Octopussy And The Living Daylights (1966)

Japan News Network Links To "Japan Safe For Monster Fan Tourists"

Above, Shibuya in Tokyo.

Here's one that didn't rely on a feed from Anime News Network.

Japan News Network, part of JapanClass.jp, posted a link to Armand's Rancho Del Cielo's post on "Japan Safe For Monster Fan Tourists."

I can't tell what kind of site it is (it's mainly in Japanese as it originates from Japan) as it has a mix of sweets for sale along with blog posts and news.

To see it, go here.

"Japan Safe For Monster Fan Tourists" In Comtrya Sugoi

Above, Astro Boy in a Niigata bank window.

Comtrya Sugoi has picked up the Anime News Network's feed of my July 20 article "Japan Safe For Monster Fan Tourists."

The website covers "Japan Pop Culture (Anime, Tech, and Music News)." According to their "About" page:

Founded in May 2009, Comtrya Sugoi (comtrya.com) is operated independently by a dedicated management team with offices in Seattle, WA.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mission

Comtrya Sugoi’s mission is to give people a range of Japanese pop culture news and items that we hope you’ll find both interesting and enjoyable.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Overview
Our main page will have articles posted on a number of different anime, music, and other culture topics. Interior pages contain syndicated posts from Akihabrara News (new technology product information), Anime News Network, and JPopfun for Japanese music and celebrity news. Be sure to check out the left side bar links to 918thefan’s 24/7 music station playing a range of Japanese and Korean artists and a number of related sites and their recent articles.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


To view Comtrya Sugoi, go here.

Dictionary 30 Picks Up ANN's Feed

Above, the Asahi Beer Hall and the Tokyo Sky Tree.

It is interesting to see who picks up the Anime News Network's feed of my article, "Japan Safe For Monster Fan Tourists."

The latest one is from Dictionary 30.com. Here, they have a page discussing the meaning of the word "amounted," which was used in my article.

To view it, go here.

"It Looks Like A Turd"



During lunch yesterday, I showed Allie my photos from last December's trip to Japan. When she came to the photos of the Asahi Beer Hall in Tokyo, she looked at "The Golden Flame" sculpture and asked, "What is that? It looks like a turd."

I told her that's what a lot of people call it: "The Golden Turd."

It is amusing that she came to that conclusion without any prodding by me.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Lunch At The Daily Planet


Today was an enjoyable one.

Had a late-lunch/early-dinner date with Jessica in the mid-Wilshire district of L.A. The restaurant she selected was Luna Park located at the E. Clem Wilson Building (right), which was once the tallest commercial building in Los Angeles and, also, the Daily Planet Building during the 1951 episodes of Adventures of Superman (the ones with Phyllis Coates as Lois Lane).

I got there a few minutes before Jessica did and while waiting outside near the valet parking attendant's stand, former James Bond star Pierce Brosnan came out of the restaurant and went to the valets to claim his car.



I managed to sneak this photo with my cell phone of Brosnan getting into his car:



Once Jessica got there, we were seated and had a superb meal. She had tuna salad and I had a cobb salad. Neither of us had salads lately and so both of us were in a salad mood. It was an enjoyable time with good conversation. Funny thing, she wanted a cocktail before eating and the waiter couldn't serve her one as she forgot to bring her i.d., even though she's 31. I told her, "Take it as a compliment!"

After lunch, I assisted Jessica with a few errands before taking her home. We actually had a good time talking and laughing while driving around for her errands. Part of the route we took through L.A. were in some "old haunts" that I haven't been to in years. They brought back many nostalgic memories of the old L.A. of my childhood.

Interestingly, I worked the graveyard shift last night and got no sleep today. But I wasn't even tired by the time I got home this evening. I guess having an enjoyable day does wonders for the lack of sleep.

"Japan Safe For Monster Fan Tourists" Picked Up By Tourism and Aviation

Above, Tokyo Tower from the Sumida River.

Tourism & Aviation has picked up the Anime News Network feed of the article "Japan Safe For Monster Fan Tourists."

It is a website for travel and aviation news (such as airport news, airplane purchases, air disasters, etc.).

To view the website, go here.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Anim-Eh Picks Up "Japan Safe For Monster Fan Tourists"

Above, Asakusa girls.

Canada's Anim-Eh Network (interesting spelling) has picked up the ANN feed of "Japan Safe For Monster Fan Tourists."

According to the site's masthead, they are "Your Canadian source for anime and manga."

To see Anim-Eh's posting, go here.

"Japan Safe For Monster Fan Tourists" Picked Up By More Sites


The article "Japan Safe For Monster Fan Tourists" that was posted today at Anime News Service has already started feeding into other websites.

VisitJapan.net has picked it up as had a Czech Republic fansite, Brněnští Otaku, from ANN's feed.

To see those sites, they are hyper-linked for your convenience.

Left, the Peace Statue at Nagasaki's Peace Park.

"Japan Safe For Monster Fan Tourists" In Anime News Network

Above, Miki Hayashi with "The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan." Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The world's premier news source for anime and Japanese pop-culture, Anime News Network, has posted my news article "Japan Safe For Monster Fan Tourists."

Anime News Network (ANN) has an enormous reach on the Internet. They feed into other websites, anime-related and otherwise. Nobody can even touch ANN in influence and reach.

More people will see that going to Japan on vacation is safe, thanks to Anime News Network.

To view their post, go here.

Thank You, Space Shuttle!

Above, Space Shuttle Atlantis rolls to a stop at Kennedy Space Center.
From the Washington Post:

The 135th and final flight of America's space shuttle fleet landed safely at the Kennedy Space Center early Thursday -- ending the three-decade lifetime of a technologically remarkable and versatile spacecraft the likes of which the world is unlikely to see for a very long time. The shuttle Atlantis and its four crew members touched down at 5:56 a.m. after a 13-day mission to the International Space Station.


I am glad I remembered to watch the landing via NASA's streaming live video.

Above, yours truly with Space Shuttle test vehicle Enterprise in 1977.

Thank you, Space Shuttle! Now what do we do for a space program?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

"Japan Safe For Monster Fan Tourists"


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tarzana, California, United States of America July 20, 2011 --
"Japan Safe For Monster Fan Tourists"

TARZANA, CA - July 20, 2011 - The March 11 earthquake and tsunami in the Tohoku region of Japan has depressed tourism throughout the country. Author Armand Vaquer says this is totally unnecessary. Prior to the earthquake, tourism amounted to 7% of Japan's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) recently declared that Japan is safe for travel.

Armand Vaquer, author of "The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan" said this is especially true for fans of Japanese science-fiction and fantasy movies. The landmarks and locations from the movies were untouched by the disaster.

"Most of the locations shown in the movies are far away from the areas affected by the March 11 earthquake, tsunami and radiation problems," said Vaquer. "Most of them are located from Tokyo to the south down to Kyushu. The quake zone is about 150-200 miles northeast of Tokyo. The majority of Japan is now operating normally. Fans of Japanese science-fiction and fantasy movies should not be afraid to visit Japan. It is safe to do so."

Vaquer said that when asked, he encourages travelers to go ahead and visit Japan. "Since March 11, I have monitored the situation in Japan so I could provide accurate assessments for tourists," said Vaquer. "Unfortunately, the western media gave people the wrong impression in their reporting immediately following the quake. Their reporting had people thinking the whole country was affected. Not true."

"The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan" is the world's first and only Japan travel guide tailored to fans of Godzilla, Gamera, Mothra, Rodan and other Japanese giant monsters. It provides information on each location/landmark, how to get there and what other attractions are nearby.

"'The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan' is an 'unorthodox' travel guide," admits Vaquer. "But baby-boomers' first exposure to Japan and Japanese culture were through the movies. They want to see the locations and landmarks shown in the films. They should get the travel guide and go and have themselves a great time."

"The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan" is available through http://www.comixpress.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=0&products_id=1554&zenid=jiq9fjvt4qa67a698cucr0mlf6.

###

Latest Press Release Done

Above, the Fukuoka Yahoo Dome featured in "Gamera: Guardian of the Universe." Photo by Armand Vaquer.

My latest press release on Japan travel has just been completed and is now undergoing review by the press release service. It should be sent out in about a day or so. When it is, I'll post it here as well.

The topic is "Japan Travel Safe For Japanese Science-Fiction Fans." This is in relation to Pacific Asia Travel Association's (PATA) recent declaration that Japan is safe to visit. (See this post from Travel Daily News.)

Essentially, since the vast majority of locations and landmarks used in Japanese science-fiction and fantasy movies are far away from the quake zone, it is safe for fans to visit Japan to see them.

Golf Channel In Indonesia Picks Up Japan Travel Guide For Monster Fans

Above, Miki Hayashi with "The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan." Photo by Armand Vaquer.

It is amazing to see the reach some web services (and even some websites) have in the world of the Internet.

This morning, I found that the website Golf Channel In Indonesia has been picking up postings on The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan. They also have picked up other postings concerning Japan travel.

Obviously, Golf Channel In Indonesia is a website for golf enthusiasts. Maybe there's some kaiju fans who are also golfers. (Personally, it has been ages since I picked up a golf club and golfed. I used to play every day during my college years.)

To see their page of postings, go here.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Celebrity Graves



Today, I had a "get-acquainted" or "meet & greet" job interview at an insurance company in Culver City, California.

The interview was a few blocks away from Holy Cross Cemetery, where a number of celebrities are buried.

After my interview, with camera in hand, I paid a quick stop over at Holy Cross Cemetery (since I was in the neighborhood) and snapped a few pictures of celebrity graves buried in the "Grotto - Our Lady of Lourdes" section.

They include:


Bela Lugosi

Lugosi (right) is best known as Count Dracula on stage and the silver screen. His 1932 movie, Island of Lost Souls, in which he played a supporting role as "The Sayer of the Law," will be released this coming October on Blu-ray and DVD by Criterion.























Bing Crosby

In the same row as Bela Lugosi rests Bing Crosby, actor and singer. Several members of the Crosby family are buried next to each other in the same row. Crosby is famous for the holiday favorite, "White Christmas" and appeared in several "Road" pictures with Bob Hope.






















Jack Haley, Sr. and Jack Haley, Jr.

Actor Jack Haley, Sr. (below) is best known as the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz (1939) and son Jack Haley, Jr. (above) was a producer, director and an ex-husband of Liza Minnelli. They are buried next to each other a few rows below Bing Crosby and Bela Lugosi.




Sharon Tate

Actress Sharon Tate was little-known at the time of her death. She appeared in minor roles in different movies including Valley of the Dolls. But her murder at the hands of the Charles Manson family changed all that. She was married to director Roman Polanski and was eight and a half months pregnant at the time of her murder in her home in Benedict Canyon. Next month (August 9) marks 42 years since her murder.















There's a Walter Brennan in this section, but the "Grandpa McCoy" Brennan is buried in the San Fernando Valley.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Monster Japan Travel Guide Picked Up By Topix's Tarzana Newswire

Above, Miki Hayashi with "The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan." Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Topix's Tarzana Newswire picked up the article "The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan vs. The Japanese Media."

The website bills itself as the "Comprehensive Real-Time News Feed for Tarzana, CA."

To view it, go here.

"Island of Lost Souls" To Be Released In October!


Island of Lost Souls is coming to DVD and Blu-ray from Criterion!

The release date is October 25 (just in time for Halloween).


Finally, after years of fan clamoring over a DVD release, the 1932 classic Paramount picture is getting released. Island of Lost Souls was directed by Erle C. Kenton and starred Charles Laughton and featured Bela Lugosi as the "Sayer of the Law" (left).







According to the Criterion website:

SYNOPSIS: A twisted treasure from Hollywood’s pre-Code horror heyday, Island of Lost Souls is a cautionary tale of science run amok adapted from H. G. Wells’s novel The Island of Dr. Moreau. In one of his first major movie roles, Charles Laughton is a mad doctor conducting ghastly genetic experiments on a remote island in the South Seas, much to the fear and disgust of the shipwrecked sailor (Richard Arlen) who finds himself trapped there. Erle C. Kenton’s touchstone of movie terror is elegantly shot by Karl Struss, features groundbreaking makeup effects that inspired generations of monster-movie artists, and costars Bela Lugosi in one his most gruesome roles


The disc features include:

•New high-definition digital restoration of the uncut theatrical version (with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition)

•Audio commentary by film historian Gregory Mank, author of Bela Lugosi and Boris
Karloff and Hollywood’s Maddest Doctors


•New video conversation among filmmaker John Landis (An American Werewolf in London), Oscar-winning makeup artist Rick Baker (An American Werewolf in London, Videodrome), and genre expert Bob Burns

•New interviews with horror film historian David J. Skal (The Monster Show: A Cultural History of Horror); filmmaker Richard Stanley (Hardware, original director of the ill-fated 1996 remake of The Island of Dr. Moreau)

•New interviews with Devo founding members Gerald Casale and Mark Mothersbaugh,
whose manifesto is rooted in themes from Island of Lost Souls

•Theatrical trailer

•PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by critic Christine Smallwood


Above, "Island of Lost Souls" was featured in a recent issue of "Famous Monsters of Filmland."

This is one movie horror fans shouldn't miss!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Cruiser Motorsports





California is known for its car culture (amongst other things). California drivers take extra pride in their vehicles.

Cruiser Motorsports in Moreno Valley, California is your "one stop accessory shop" for those goodies to make your car run better and look better.

"We are your Ultimate One Stop Shop for Restyling, Modifications & Cool Aftermarket Accessories for your PT Cruiser," according to Cruiser Motorsports' website.



Besides PT Cruisers, Cruiser Motorsports also carries accessories for Chrysler 300, Chevy HHR, Ford Mustang, Dodge Challenger, 2010 Camaro, Dodge Caliber and more.

Owner Mitch Geriminsky works hard to get the latest goodies for your car. If an item isn't in stock, he'll get it for you!



Cruiser Motorsports doesn't just solely cater to Californians. Through their website, car buffs outside of California can also take advantage of what they have to offer.

Cruiser Motorsports is located at 7207 Old 215 Frontage Rd., Moreno Valley, CA. 92553. Phone 951-697-8240.

For more information, visit Cruiser Motorsports' website at http://www.cruisermotorsports.com/.

Chicago Sun-Times: "With Radiation Concerns Gone, Japan Eager For Tourists"

Above, Itsukushima Shrine and its torii gate at Miyajima Island near Hirohima. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

The Chicago Sun-Times has an article today on Japan's eagerness for foreign tourists.

The article, titled "With Radiation Concerns Gone, Japan Eager For Tourists," states:

Tourism to Japan is down — dramatically down — since March, in the aftermath of one of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded. Part of the problem is misconceptions. We traveled the country over eight days in late June and early July, and here’s what we found:

† Japan was not destroyed by that earthquake. In Tokyo, the temples, shrines, restaurants, shops and pachinko parlors are open. In Sendai, which took a pretty good jolt as the city closest to the epicenter, evidence of damage in the central district — and there was some damage — is rare.

† Radiation levels from that damaged nuclear plant near Fukushima, 150 miles from Tokyo, are negligible except around the plant, an area that’s been evacuated.


And there's a lot more.

To read the full article, go here.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

McConnell's Hare-Brained Scheme

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell proposed a "Plan B" measure giving President Obama around $2 trillion-plus in debt limit authority.

The Wall Street Journal Online reports:

The so-called Plan B is taking shape in quiet discussions between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) and Republican leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), away from unhappy House Republicans who don't favor the approach.

It would link a package of spending cuts to a plan Mr. McConnell proposed earlier this week that would give the president the power to raise the debt limit through 2012 in three installments, unless two-thirds of Congress voted to block it. It likely wouldn't include any tax increases, a senior Democratic aide familiar with the discussions said.


This is nothing but a hare-brained scheme that gives Obama more power. McConnell is known as a Washington "wheeler-dealer" and is hell-bent on snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. This also would saddle the GOP with blame over the economy.

Let's face it. This whole debt limit matter boils down to two positions:

1. The Democrats (led by Obama) want tax increases and they want more spending.

2. The Republicans want spending cuts and low taxes.

On Friday, the fiscal conservative group, Club for Growth, voiced strong opposition to McConnell's debt ceiling plan, calling it a "backroom deal."

"The American people didn't send more Republicans to Washington so they could give President Obama more power," said Club for Growth's President Chris Chocola. "This backroom deal is just another sellout of the free-market principles that make America strong."

McConnell seems to be in a panic for no reason. If an agreement isn't reached by August 2, the Obama Administration says that the government will be in default. That is utter nonsense. The treasury has plenty of money to meet obligations. It is just a scare tactic.

If McConnell and other "wobbly" Republicans can't show enough spine, then it is time to get new GOP leadership.

At least one senator is willing to put up a fight against McConnell's scheme: Jim DeMint of South Carolina.

"I'll use every tool in Senate to stop passage of 'Plan B' blank check debt limit increase," DeMint said in a Twitter Tweet. "No Republican was elected to give President Obama more power and that's what this plan does."

Reagan Bumperstickers



For something to do, I was going through some of my political collection and came upon a bunch of Ronald Reagan presidential campaign bumper stickers. (It is amazing what stuff one accumulates over the years!)

Back in 1976, when Reagan ran against President Gerald Ford for the GOP nomination at the Republican National Convention in Kansas City, Missouri, I was an area chairman for the Citizens For Reagan campaign. Once the primary campaign was over, I served as a California Reagan delegate to the national convention.

Right, actor Michael Landon joins former Governor Reagan at a private reception on the night of the 1980 California Primary at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

In 1980 and 1984, I also served as a Reagan campaign area chairman and attended the 1980 GOP National Convention in Detroit, Michigan as a California delegate. I also attended the 1984 GOP National Convention as a Reagan California alternate delegate in Dallas, Texas.

In those roles, I received shipments of campaign materials from the national campaign headquarters. These are some of the "leftovers." I am going by memory (which may be a little faulty) on what years and when they were used.

Repubican groups and individuals independent of the official Reagan campaigns would also produce bumperstickers.

1976

Above, the official Citizens For Reagan bumpersticker for the 1976 primary campaign.

1980

Above, several bumperstickers were issued during the 1980 primpary campaign. The bottom one may be from the 1984 general campaign (didn't I say I was going by memory?).

Above, more from the 1980 primary campaign.

Above, the top sticker is definitely from the 1980 general election campaign. The one in the middle was a metallic sticker produced by the Young Overseas Americans for Reagan and Friends, an "independent voluntary work group." They were based in New Mexico. The sticker was printed in Hong Kong.

Above, these are from the 1980 general election campaign.

1984

Above, this 1984 Reagan-Bush sticker is the the large one issued by the campaign. It is longer than the scanner bed so some of the image's edges were cut off.

Above, this 1984 Reagan-Bush sticker is the smaller of the two and was able to fit within the scanner bed.

Above, the top two stickers were produced in 1984 by an organization called Freedom's Ring. The bottom one was produced by the California Republican Party.

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