"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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Monday, May 26, 2008

Veterans' Scholarship Bill: Democrat Demagoguery

Barack Obama and others have been demagoguing the opposition of Sen. John McCain and the White House on the veterans' college scholarship bill for the past several days.

Either Sen. Obama is purposely distorting their positions or is greatly misinformed. Obama said in Puerto Rico on Saturday, "Now, let me be clear: No one can dispute John McCain's love for this country or his concern for veterans. But here's what I don't understand. I don't understand why John McCain would side with George Bush and oppose our plan to make college more affordable for our veterans."

The truth of the matter is the Arizona senator opposes the scholarship measure, as does the Pentagon, because it applies to people who serve just three years. McCain fears that would encourage people to leave the military after only one enlistment even as the U.S. fights two wars and is trying to increase the size of the Army and Marine Corps.

Instead, McCain and Republican colleagues proposed a bill to increase benefits in conjunction with a veteran's length of service. Senate Democrats blocked that measure.

While I am not a big fan of Sen. McCain, but it is dishonest for anyone to accuse McCain of being anti-veteran due to his opposition of this bill. I thoroughly agree with this position.

McCain said it best with a sharp statement saying that he wouldn't listen to any lectures on veterans' affairs from Obama, "who did not feel it was his responsibility to serve our country in uniform."

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Forget about politics...

...G-FEST XV is the only convention you need. For more info, go to G-FAN.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

August Ragone at G-FEST XV

Daikaiju Enterprises is pleased to announce that August Ragone, author of a new book on Japanese special effects pioneer Eiji Tsuburaya, has agreed to be a part of G-FEST XV. Eiji Tsuburaya was the creator of Godzilla, Ultraman and a multitude of Japanese sci-fi characters. Mr. Ragone, a noted expert on Japanese fantasy films and television, will be participating in several panels and presentations at G-FEST. Also, he will be available for signings of his book, Eiji Tsuburaya: Master of Monsters, at the Clawmark Toys booth during the convention.

G-FEST XV will be held July 4-6, 2008 at the Crowne Plaza O'Hare International in Rosemont, Illinois.

Weekend admission tickets are $29.00 for adults, $10 for youth (12 and under). Daily admission (at the door) is $20.00 for adults, $5.00 for youths. Children 5 and under are admitted FREE.

For more information, log onto www.g-fan.com.

G-TOUR 2004

Above, Kinkaku-ji Golden Pavilion.

In August 2004, G-FAN publisher and editor J. D. Lees led 60 Godzilla fans to Japan on an eleven-day tour of Japan to celebrate Godzilla's 50th Anniversary.

G-TOUR took nearly three years to plan and to obtain bids from several travel/tour companies. Ultimately, Sita World Travel of Encino, California was chosen to put together G-TOUR.

I assisted J. D. Lees in the planning (after all, two heads are better than one).

G-TOUR departed on July 31, 2004 from the Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport. The eleven-hour flight was aboard a Singapore Airlines 747 which had individual video screens. Their service and meals were top-notch. We were joined by Pete Sohi of Sita and he made sure that the tour went off without a hitch.

We arrived at the New Tokyo International Airport at dusk and after going through Immigration, Customs and currency exchange, we were bused into Tokyo. As we entered Tokyo, fireworks were seen in the darkened skies. We stayed at the Shiba Park Hotel near Tokyo Tower.

The stay in Tokyo included Tokyo Tower, Aqua City, Ginza, Imperial Palace, Asakusa and a bus trip to Koriyama, the hometown of Eiji Tsuburaya, the father of Japanese special effects. The Koriyama City Museum had the "Since Godzilla" exhibit which included monster suits, the Oxygen Destroyer, Mothra egg, posters and other items from the first 50 years of Godzilla.

We also held a dinner get-together at T.G.I. Friday's in Roppongi, Tokyo and it was there that Godzilla vs. Hedorah director Yoshimitsu Banno announced his Godzilla 3D To The Max project.

We departed Tokyo and headed to the Hakone and Mt. Fuji region by bus. Sites visited included Mt. Fuji, Great Buddha of Kamakura and a fireworks show at Lake Kawaguchi. We also took a boat ride on Lake Ashii.

From there, we headed to Atami City and took the Shinkansen (bullet train) to Kyoto. In Kyoto, we visited Nijo Castle, Kinkaku-ji Golden Pavilion, Kyomizu Temple and other sites of Japanese history.

Above, the Atomic Dome in Hiroshima.

From Kyoto, we took a day-trip on the Shinkansen to Hiroshima, where the first atomic bomb was dropped. We visited Miyajima Island as well as Peace Memorial Park and Museum.

Above, the Torii Gate at Miyajima.

While in Kyoto, we were visited by the Stuart Galbraiths and Robert Scott Field.

Above, G-TOUR at Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima.

We also took another day-trip (by bus) to Osaka Castle, the location of the final battle between Godzilla and Anguirus in Godzilla Raids Again.

Several members of G-TOUR also visited the Toei Studio Amusement Park.

The last day of G-TOUR began early as we had an eight o'clock flight from Osaka to Narita on an All Nippon Airways 747. Some of us took a train into Tokyo for the all-day layover before our departure to Los Angeles that evening.

Many have asked if there will be a G-TOUR II. At present, there are no plans but we haven't ruled out another organized tour. The official G-FAN website has a link to a splendid photo slideshow of G-TOUR. Feel free to take at look at http://www.g-fan.com.

If there is another G-TOUR, do yourself a favor and sign up!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Spineless Republicans

There was a time where the GOP had backbone with leaders in the mold of Ronald Reagan and John Wayne. Not anymore.

When President Bush spoke before the Israeli legislature yesterday about the dangers of appeasement, the Democrats screamed (and are still screaming) bloody murder.

The cry has been that it's "terrible" that Bush should make "a political attack on foreign soil." This has been echoed by many Democrats practically verbatim. Their media toadys have been amplifying this all over the place. But where's the rebuttals defending Bush by the Republican leadership and office-holders? There's been none! (Notice that the Democrats didn't deny that they engage in appeasement?)

The only voices defending Bush's speech have been on talk-radio by Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Medved and others. But the Republican leadership has been AWOL on this.

The reason is simple, they are nothing but spineless political hacks and wusses whose only interest is to try to "get along" with the liberals in Congress and the media.

Do you wonder why we lost three recent special elections? The leadership has failed to stand up for the party's principles. They are completely useless.

It is high time that these Republican "leaders" grow some backbones or they will deserve to be defeated this November.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

California's top court legalizes gay marriage

California's Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in a 4-3 decision today. California voters had previously voted to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. This ruling overturns that law.

California voters have three choices: they can put a constitutional amendment on the November ballot banning gay marriage; they can vote out of office the justices who voted to allow gay marriage (if any are on the ballot for reconfirmation); or they can recall those justices (as California Chief Justice Rose Elizabeth Bird was recalled by the voters several years ago).

This is also a great opportunity for GOP candidates to point out just what kind of judges an Obama Administration would be appointing and confirmed by a liberal Democrat Congress.

The differences couldn't be more glaring.

Obama accuses Bush of a "false political attack"

Speaking before the Israeli Knesset on the 60th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel, Bush said anyone who thinks that talking with terrorists will change their hearts and minds are under a “foolish delusion.”

“Some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: ‘Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided.’ We have an obligation to call this what it is — the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history,” President Bush said.

While President Bush did not mention Obama or anyone else by name, “aggressive personal diplomacy” with Iran is policy position proposed by Obama to get that country’s support for insurgency in Iraq and its nuclear programs to end.

Obama accused Bush of a “false political attack” and said the president’s foreign policy has failed to secure the U.S. or Israel.

The White House denied that Obama was the target in Bush's remarks. “I understand when you are running for office sometimes you think the world revolves around you. That is not always true and it is not true in this case. The president is president regardless of an election cycle and he is going to be president of the United States through January 20, 2009,” White House Press Secretary Dana Perino said.

Meanwhile, Democrat losers such as Tom Daschle and John Kerry complained about President Bush's remarks.

Bush was only telling the truth that appeasement throughout history has never worked and only led to tragic consequences. Liberals from British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain to former President Jimmy Carter, noted appeasers, come immediately to mind.

The more the truth is told about the Democrat appeasers, the louder they whine.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The GOP Is In Trouble

In a House special election yesterday, Prentiss County Chancery Clerk Travis Childers beat out Republican candidate Greg Davis, the mayor of Southaven, by a 54%-46% margin. This distict follows two previous House losses in Illinois and Louisiana in supposedly safe GOP districts.

Last night's loss was to a conservative Democrat who out-flanked Davis on the right.

This should be a wake-up call to the GOP that they need to get back to their conservative principles and run against the local candidate, not Barack Obama. It has been said that "all politics are local."

The GOP leadership has not been out front with conservative programs and principles. Unless they turn this around, more losses can be expected in November.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

G-FEST XV News Release

North American Godzilla fans will be gathering July 4-6, 2008 at the Crowne Plaza O'Hare International in Rosemont, IL for G-FEST XV. The special guests for G-FEST XV are Haruo Nakajima, who portrayed Godzilla from 1954 to 1972 and actor Don Frye from Godzilla Final Wars. Other featured guest is actor Robert Scott Field of Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991).

G-FEST XV will be screening Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989) and Godzilla x Mechagodzilla (2002). As G-FEST falls on Independence Day weekend, a mini film festival will be held on Thursday, July 3 featuring Destroy All Monsters, Attack of the Mushroom People, Godzilla vs. Gigan and Orochi, The Eight-Headed Dragon. All movies will be screened at the Pickwick Theater in Park Ridge. Godzilla vs. Biollante is an exclusive screening for registered G-FEST attendees.

G-FEST XV will also have a giant dealers room, model instruction, video room, Godzilla video game tournaments, Godzilla Jeopardy, costume parade & contest, art contest, video contests and more. A feature-length documentary, Monsterland, will be filming at G-FEST by German filmmaker Jorg Buttgerheit.

Weekend admission tickets are $29.00 for adults, $10 for youth (12 and under). Daily admission (at the door) is $20.00 for adults, $5.00 for youths. Children 5 and under are admitted FREE. For more information, log onto www.g-fan.com.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Mike Feuer's "Global Warming" Tax Scam

The wackos in Sacramento are at it again. There is an Assembly Bill (A.B. 2558) introduced by Assemblyman Michael Feuer to add a tax on Southern California motorists allegedly to fund anti-Global Warming programs.

The Orange County Register has it correctly pegged:

To fight global warming, a bill in Sacramento would enable Los Angeles County transit officials to increase taxes on motorists. It’s a bad idea that may foreshadow even worse to come.

Billed as a “climate change mitigation and adaptation fee,” the measure would cost motorists either an additional 3 percent motor fuel tax, or up to a $90 annual flat fee, based on vehicle emissions. The new charges would be on top of taxes already paid at the pump. Either option requires a majority approval by a vote of the people.

“At this point the people of the Los Angeles region have just had it when it comes to traffic and air quality,” claimed Assemblyman Mike Feuer, a Los Angeles Democrat and author of Assembly Bill 2558.

We concur about the traffic mess, but with little else Mr. Feuer claims in seeking to overtax motorists. The assemblyman’s sleight of hand conflates two issues, the real problem of congested traffic and the contrived emergency of so-called global warming.

Congested traffic is easily verifiable. If it went away tomorrow, politicians would be unable to persuade voters to tax themselves to fix it.

Global warming at best amounts to less than a degree of temperature increase during the past century. If the recent several-year cooling trend is an indication, global warming may be going away. But because the only “proof” of long-term catastrophic consequences lies in contrived computer models, politicians like Mr. Feuer can insist even as temperatures decline that doomsday still lies ahead unless people tax themselves to fix the problem.

Los Angeles County motorists should ask Mr. Feuer what global temperature would persuade him that a new tax is unneeded. Global warming, now conveniently rechristened “climate change,” is perfect for demagoguery. Those advancing the cause won’t explain how they will know we have won the global warming fight, let alone what the ideal temperature is supposed to be.

Climate has changed as long as the Earth has spun on its axis. It’s been considerably warmer in recent centuries than today, and during those periods humanity simply adapted, indeed, flourished with fewer cold-weather deaths and more abundant crops.

But facts don’t deter schemes like Mr. Feuer’s to raise $400 million in additional taxes to pay for already funded transit projects. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority would have to place the issue on the ballot if AB2558 becomes law, and probably would do so because the agency would reap the bounty.

We hope, however, that motorists see the ploy for what it is and reject the additional tax. If not, it’s a good bet this scare tactic will be repeated throughout the state.

If there is "Global Warming," it has not been proven that it is caused by man. Take a look at Mars's polar icecaps lately? They have also shrunk and scientists have noted that the sun has been shining brighter recently. Gee, maybe we should tax sunlight? That's as looney as Feuer's proposed law.

If this nutty proposal manages to get on the ballot, voters should resoundingly vote it down!

Thursday, May 8, 2008


Sights in and around Hawthorne High (the high school of The Beach Boys and me):

Most of these theaters I used to go to. Many are gone now:

History of Hawthorne, CA:

The Beach Boys' "Surfin' Safari" from 1962:

Thanks to Jerry Miles!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Kelsey Smith, A Year Later

Photos by
Tim Galyean

Today, Overland Park, Kansas is calm, with its people going about their normal tasks. The air is springtime warm with laughter of children in parks and sporting events of all kinds taking place.

But one year ago next month, the mood was tense with worry and a frantic search was beginning.

On June 2, 2007, a girl, who was “scrubbed in sunshine,” was taken by a dark cloud of evil. Over 200 hundred volunteers, law enforcement personnel, friends, and family members began a search for Kelsey Smith. Total strangers heard the call and rushed to assist. Their mission was to find Kelsey and return her home safely to the warm embrace of her family and friends. They called themselves "Kelsey's Army."

Searchers went door-to-door, to the fields and anywhere to find Kelsey. When a family member wavered in hope, another stepped in to buck them up.

Each day, in those four nightmarish days, new clues were found that would pinpoint what happened to Kelsey, who did it and where she could be found.

Then, on June 6, Kelsey was found. A suspect was apprehended.

For days after, people from all walks of life came together to share in the sorrow of her loss. Many people from across the country, and some from other countries, shared in grief with the Smith Family. This case resonated especially with people who are parents of daughters, as I am.

It would have been easy (and understandable) for the Smith Family to withdraw in solitude with their sorrows. What happened to Kelsey is a parent's worst nightmare. But the Smith Family, although a normal American family, didn't do that. Instead they pulled themselves together and decided that this evil must be fought. They formed the Kelsey Smith Foundation [Kelsey's Army] to see to it that young women would be trained and have the tools to prevent similar occurrences.

They are an inspiration to the rest of us. They've showed the nation and the world just what kind of mettle they're made of.

In the year since Kelsey's murder, the Kelsey Smith Foundation has provided grief counseling, Safety Awareness Seminars, spoke before different groups, provided brochures and safety whistles, all free of charge. The Foundation has consulted with three families on three different missing person cases in the Kansas City area. All three persons were found, unharmed, and returned safely home. In one instance, Missey Smith was instrumental in bringing the person home.

The Smiths, though the Kelsey Smith Foundation, have shown each of us that an evil act can be the spark that could turn evil into good. We owe them our deepest gratitude. That is why I nominated them March 27 for a “Making A Difference” profile on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. (If you agree, please contact NBC to second the nomination at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10397946/.)

Kelsey Smith planned to be a veterinarian. In her short life, she contributed to her community. A dedicated person, she once made a two-hour drive to be in a charity run when the one at her school was canceled. Her potential for doing more was evident to all who knew her, and to those who never met her but read about what kind of person she was. She was a girl who would make any parent proud.

Although she is gone physically, Kelsey’s spirit lives on and she continues to be a force for positive change. I am certain that she is looking down and is proud at what she sees. Her legacy continues.

Saturday, May 3rd would have been Kelsey’s 19th birthday. It is more appropriate to remember her on her birthday rather than on the day of her death so thanks can be given for the day of her birth and for what she contributed in the days that she had.

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