"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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Friday, October 31, 2008

Obama's "Incredible Shrinking Tax Cut"

Barack Obama's promise of a tax cut and the threshold of when additional taxes kick in seems to be shrinking like a cube of ice in a swimming pool.

As Deroy Murdock at the Seattle Post Intelligencer points out:

Obama would stuff a pillow over the face of America's bedridden economy by boosting capital gains and dividend taxes by a third, from 15 percent to 20 percent. He would hike top income tax rates from 33 percent and 35 percent to 36 percent and 39.6 percent. He also would maintain the 35 percent corporate tax and a 45 percent inheritance tax on estates above $3.5 million.

Obama promises "tax cuts" to 95 percent of Americans, even though 44 percent of filers pay $0 in income taxes. A shifting target of taxpayers would finance these transfer payments.

"If you make $250,000 a year or less, we will not raise your taxes," Obama declared last July 8. "We will cut your taxes."

On Oct. 25, Obama's threshold slipped. "If you have a job, pay taxes and make less than $200,000 a year, you'll get a tax cut," he said in a commercial.

VP nominee Joe Biden told Scranton's WNEP Monday that tax cuts "should go to middle class people -- people making under $150,000 a year."

"It's interesting how their definition of rich has a way of creeping down," McCain said Tuesday in Pennsylvania.

Today, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, and an Obama backer, said the ceiling is now $120,000 in a phone-in radio interview with KOA in Denver!

What's it going to be by Election Day? $40,000?

UPDATE: Fox News quoted Richardson:

The latest hiccup in the campaign message came Friday morning on KOA-AM, when New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson pegged the middle class as those making $120,000 and under.

"What Obama wants to do is he is basically looking at $120,000 and under among those that are in the middle class, and there is a tax cut for those," Richardson said in the interview, according to a clip posted on YouTube.

Obama: Further Left Than LBJ

Charles Krauthammer has a new article, "Further Left Than LBJ." In it, Krauthammer tells us what to expect out of an Obama Administration with allies in the Congress.

What will you get?

Card check — meaning the abolition of the secret ballot in the certification of unions in the workplace. Large men will come to your house at night and ask you to sign a card supporting a union. You will sign.

The so-called Fairness Doctrine — a project of Nancy Pelosi and leading Democratic senators — which is a Hugo Chavez-style travesty designed to abolish conservative talk radio.

Judges who go beyond even the constitutional creativity we expect from Democratic appointees. Judges chosen according to Obama’s publicly declared criterion: “empathy” for the “poor or African-American or gay or disabled or old” — in a legal system historically predicated on the idea of justice entirely blind to one’s station in life.

An unprecedented expansion of government power. Yes, I know. It has already happened. A conservative government has already partially nationalized the mortgage industry, the insurance industry, and nine of the largest U.S. banks. This is all generally swallowed because everyone understands that the current crisis demands extraordinary measures. The difference is that conservatives are instinctively inclined to make such measures temporary. Whereas an Obama-Pelosi-Reid-Barney Frank administration will find irresistible the temptation to use the tools inherited — $700 billion of largely uncontrolled spending — as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to radically remake the American economy and social compact.

To read the full article, go here.

Obama Bans Three Newspapers: They Endorsed McCain!

The Drudge Report is reporting today that three newspapers who endorsed John McCain for President have been banned from the Obama campaign plane:


**Exclusive** Obama Bans Three Newspapers: They Endorsed McCain!

The Obama campaign has decided to heave out three newspapers from its plane for the final days of its blitz across battleground states -- and all three endorsed Sen. John McCain for president!

The NY POST, WASHINGTON TIMES and DALLAS MORNING NEWS have all been told to move out by Sunday to make room for network bigwigs -- and possibly for the inclusion of reporters from two black magazines, ESSENCE and JET, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

To read the full article, go here.

Dear Mr. Obama: 11.3 million hits!

An Iraq veteran posted his endorsement of John McCain on YouTube. If the election were up to the number of hits a YouTube, McCain would be the big winner. To date, the video has had over 11.3 million hits! It is called, "Dear Mr. Obama."

You can watch it here:

"Dear Mr. Obama"

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Obama's Goons Go After Joe Wurzelbacher's Records

When "Joe the Plumber" asked Barack Obama his question on Obama's tax policy, little did he know that the Stalinist Democrats were going to pounce. And pounce they did.

Randy Ludlow at the Columbus Dispatch writes:

A state agency has revealed that its checks of computer systems for potential information on "Joe the Plumber" were more extensive than it first acknowledged.

Helen Jones-Kelley, director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, disclosed today that computer inquiries on Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher were not restricted to a child-support system.

The agency also checked Wurzelbacher in its computer systems to determine whether he was receiving welfare assistance or owed unemployment compensation taxes, she wrote.

Jones-Kelley made the revelations in a letter to Ohio Senate President Bill M. Harris, R-Ashland, who demanded answers on why state officials checked out Wurzelbacher.

Harris called the multiple records checks "questionable" and said he awaits more answers. "It's kind of like Big Brother is looking in your pocket," he said.

If state employees run checks on every person listed in newspaper stories as buying a business, "it must take a lot of people a lot of time to run these checks," he said. "Where do you draw the line?"

This is a chilling development and one that should give pause to people thinking of voting for Obama. If Obama and his gang of goons can go after a regular citizen with police state tactics, then what can we all expect if Obama is elected and his goons are in control of federal agencies?

This episode may be a good preview on what critics of King Barack the Spreader can expect.

Never a dumb Democrat?

Guest Editorial: Never a dumb Democrat?

by J. D. Lees

The massive media bias against U.S. vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is disgusting but predictable. Much has been made of Palin's inexperience, given that she'll be a heartbeat away from the presidency. Meanwhile, Barack Obama’s far thinner resume has been virtually ignored as he prepares to assume the world’s top job.

Then there are Obama's other "qualifications": rogues gallery of crooked former associates (political and otherwise), friendly connections with unrepentant domestic terrorist William Ayres, racist pastor and mentor for 20 years, most left-wing voting record in the U.S. Senate, socialist/collectivist plans to confiscate wealth and redistribute it... all forming merely the tip of a largely unexamined iceberg.

The mainstream media have failed to shine much light on Obama's unsavory aspects, having been intensely preoccupied with portraying Sarah Palin as an unqualified redneck airhead. It's a familiar refrain, one that the media never stops recycling. Strange, too, that it's always Republicans that are said to lack the requisite brainpower for public office.

Gerald Ford had a solid 25-year congressional career (including eight years as minority leader) before becoming vice president and then president. Nonetheless, the media made him out to be a clumsy "doofus" who, in Lyndon Johnson's well-publicized estimation, couldn't "walk and chew gum at the same time."

Ford was narrowly defeated by the reportedly brilliant Jimmy Carter, who swiftly regulated the U.S. into an energy crisis that generated filling station line-ups, at least when gas was even available. Carter's policies were so intelligent that inflation and unemployment skyrocketed simultaneously.

Carter was challenged by Republican Ronald Reagan, another "amiable dunce" according to the media. But after Carter's diplomacy produced 52 American hostages in Iran and his personally planned rescue mission failed disastrously, the allegedly dumb Reagan restored the U.S. economy and won the Cold War, freeing the peoples of Western Europe, in Margaret Thatcher's words, "without firing a shot."

Bill Clinton was another brainy Democrat. He wound up impeached by the House of Representatives and resigned from the Supreme Court bar to avoid certain disbarment, all because he allowed the wrong piece of anatomy do his thinking.

According to conventional wisdom, George W. Bush is the dumbest Republican yet. But to the dismay of his defeatist critics, Bush’s "surge" seems to have turned the tide in the Iraq War. Furthermore, for the past four years Bush warned all those "smart" Democrats in Congress that their sub-prime interest pyramid scheme was headed for collapse.

The media gleefully pounces on every Palin mistake, but her Democrat counterpart Joe Biden’s frequent gaffs go mostly unreported. For example, he stated that FDR used TV to reassure Americans after the 1929 stock market crash. FDR was first elected in 1932, and TV hadn’t yet been invented.

We don't really know much about Sarah Palin, but the people of Alaska do. As their governor, she has the highest approval ratings in the nation. This she shares with Bush and Reagan; both were successful governors, both were re-elected by record margins. Simple common sense says that stupid people don't become highly effective state governors.

Palin may be a novice on the national stage, but she’s plenty smart. Equally important, she exhibits a sense of life that is upbeat, forward-looking, and grounded in solid American values.

In private, Obama sneers at those who “cling to guns or religion” because they're “bitter.” Palin, a gun and Bible-totin' “frontier” woman refutes Obama’s cynicism because she is the exact opposite of bitter. Her spirit is the spirit of America, a can-do attitude of optimism, grit and inspiring self-reliance, all excellent qualities for a potential leader of the free world.

J. D. Lees is a high school teacher in Steinbach, Manitoba, Canada and is editor and publisher of G-FAN magazine and writes a weekly column for his local newspaper.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

L.A. Times Suppresses Video of Obama

The Los Angeles Times is suppressing a 2003 video of Barack Obama toasting Rashid Khalidi at a dinner. The Times endorsed Obama and is possibly trying to protect him from having damaging comments exposed.

FoxNews reports:

The Los Angeles Times is refusing to release a videotape that it says shows Barack Obama praising a Chicago professor who was an alleged mouthpiece for the Palestine Liberation Organization while it was a designated terrorist group in the 1970s and '80s.

According an LA Times article written by Peter Wallsten in April, Obama was a "friend and frequent dinner companion" of Rashid Khalidi, who from 1976 to 1982 was reportedly a director of the official Palestinian press agency, WAFA, which was operating in exile from Beirut with the PLO.

In the article -- based on the videotape obtained by the Times -- Wallsten said Obama addressed an audience during a 2003 farewell dinner for Khalidi, who was Obama's colleague at the University of Chicago, before his departure for Columbia University in New York. Obama said his many talks with Khalidi and his wife Mona stood as "consistent reminders to me of my own blind spots and my own biases."

On Wednesday, John McCain's campaign accused the newspaper of deliberately suppressing information that could establish the link between the Democratic presidential candidate and the former PLO spokesman.

"Khalidi was a frequent dinner guest at the Obama's home and at his farewell dinner in 2003 Obama joined the unrepentant terrorist William Ayers in giving testimonials on Khalidi's role in the community," McCain spokesman Michael Goldfarb said in a written statement. "The election is one week away, and it's unfortunate that the press so obviously favors Barack Obama that this campaign must publicly request that the Los Angeles Times do its job -- make information public."

Khalidi is currently the Edward Said professor of Arab Studies at Columbia. A pro-Palestinian activist, he has been a fierce critic of American foreign policy and of Israel, which he has accused of establishing an "apartheid system" of government. The PLO advocate helped facilitate negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians in the early '90s, but he has denied he was ever an employee of the group, contradicting accounts in the New York Times and Washington Times.

If you want to see this video released, here's an email address to the Letters to the Editor for the Los Angeles Times: letters@latimes.com

If you want your letter to the Times published, include your address and phone number.

An Election View From Asia

An American friend working in Tokyo, Japan sent out his annual holiday message and has a perspective on the election from there. I asked him if I may share it here and he agreed.

This is a mass mailing, intended for a good number of family members, relatives and friends, far and wide. If you get caught up in it for some reason, I hope you will let it slide as I promise I will not "spam" again. It is just that due to the time sensitive nature of the information, I went to my address book and just sent out the messages in bulk. I do invite you to look over the content of the message, however, because I believe it to be of vital interest to all who are concerned about the future.

Most end-of-the-year seasonal letters and e-mails start with something like this: "Frank just finished his third year of college", or "we had a great week at Disney World in the spring, here are some pics", or "the littlest one is now on the drill team" or "George finally got around to fixing our pool this month". That kind of stuff. So it may come as a bit of a surprise to get one like this, which is anything but typical. I hope you will read it through to the end and take appropriate action.

I am here in the Tokyo-area in Japan as you know. As I speak, there are several thousands of short, intermediate and long-range missiles including dreaded "Scuds" and "Taepodong" pointed in my direction and at thousands of US military in bases thronged around where I write at this moment in the Tokyo/Yokohama area. In these scuds are weapons of mass destruction--agreed by all observers and claimed by the North Koreans themselves--not the least being terrible chemical agents, biological nightmares, and of course, possibly nuclear explosives. Not much of a fun Christmas message, you will say. Well, read on. It gets worse.

These weapons are at the control of every whim of Kim Jong-il, the Dictator of North Korea - as demented, cruel and delusional a tyrant as the world has ever known. As you know, North Korea is just next to Japan and considers Japan, outside of the United States, as "Enemy Number One". That is why I write.

You see, just the other day, Senator Joseph Biden, Senator Obama's running mate, made an incredible statement now widely recognized as a major slip of the tongue. It just about knocked me out of my chair. It was actually brutally honest and chilling and showed what he was really thinking. I am convinced that Biden, who is a senior foreign policy figure, who has access to high-level government briefings as to what are the current or near future threats to the United States, knows that if Barack Obama is elected President, we can expect a serious, "generated" provocation against the United States within six months, because of his youth and perceived inexperience. Now people are trying to spin it that he said any new President will be tested. But if you read closely, he clearly said--before getting caught and revising himself--this will happen only if Mr. Obama is elected, comparing Obama to John Kennedy and back during the Cuban Missile Crisis, when the Soviets tested him due to age and inexperience. This "generated crisis", this test, could come from Iran. It could come from al-Qaeda. It could come from Russia. It could come from North Korea. From wherever. It could come from more than one of them. The fact is, sitting from my perspective here in Japan, I do not dismiss this as pessimism or paranoia - Senator Biden must know something I do not know. He even buttressed his dire prediction several times by saying "mark...my....words".

If you have not made up your mind regarding this 2008 Presidential election, I ask you and I plead you to a) vote next month; and b) take this threat seriously to heart. You may have many other reasons to vote the way you will. Economy, pensions, job loss, taxes, whatever - I am sure they are all legitimate. For example, everyone is on edge over the economy.

But would you do me one favor and at least think of this situation out here for me? And for the over 47,000 of our American troops stationed in Japan (and 48,000 of our American private citizens like me also over here--not to mention the Japanese people themselves) whom are currently targeted by North Korea's irrational and aggressive leadership which could in fact make any kind of Cuban Missile Crisis- style miscalculation to test an untested Senator-turned-President? I just have read a chilling Japanese news analysis article by Yoshihisa Komori this past weekend which shows clearly that Kim Jong-il and his successors strongly prefer Obama to be elected over McCain. With one, they think they can get away with something; and with the other one, they have respect for his having endured and overcome torture in Asia (something they themselves are experts in) and his overall military grasp, policies and professional staff.

Consider also, if you would, the broader implications to the United States and the free world should such an attack occur. The economic destiny of America and Japan are interwoven to such a degree that a devastating attack on Japan could have shock-waves that we cannot begin to comprehend. This is a National Security issue every bit if not more serious than if Great Britain were to be threatened with mass destruction.

If this e-mail has convinced you that a vote for Obama could invite the most serious consequences and in fact WILL INVITE A "TEST" OF HIM--just as Sen. Biden predicts, please act and also please forward this message to three other family or friends whom you have heard in the last few days might be still "undecided". Don't just do it for me, do it for your country. I and many thousands of Americans here in Japan will thank you - for sure.

I hope next Christmas/Holiday season I will be able to write you a little more upbeat of a letter, but right now, these are the facts and this is how things stand out here in Asia.

Overseas, Stationed in Japan

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Democrats Plan To Steal Your 401k

The Democrat Party is plotting to take your 401k retirement plan, nationalize it and have the Social Security Administration administrate it.

US News.com reports:

I hate to use the "S" word, but the American government would never do something as, well, socialist as seize private pension funds, right? This is exactly what cash-strapped Argentina just did in the name of protecting workers' retirement accounts (Efharisto, Fausta's Blog). Now, even Uncle Sam isn't that stupid, but some Democrats might try something almost as loopy: kill 401(k) plans.

House Democrats recently invited Teresa Ghilarducci, a professor at the New School of Social Research, to testify before a subcommittee on her idea to eliminate the preferential tax treatment of the popular retirement plans. In place of 401(k) plans, she would have workers transfer their dough into government-created "guaranteed retirement accounts" for every worker. The government would deposit $600 (inflation indexed) every year into the GRAs. Each worker would also have to save 5 percent of pay into the accounts, to which the government would pay a measly 3 percent return. Rep. Jim McDermott, a Democrat from Washington and chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee's Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support, said that since "the savings rate isn't going up for the investment of $80 billion [in 401(k) tax breaks], we have to start to think about whether or not we want to continue to invest that $80 billion for a policy that's not generating what we now say it should."

The Democrats are complaining that the tax-deferred income people are depositing into their 401k retirement accounts is costing the government revenue. They are scheming to enact this plan to take control of your retirement savings.

We know how well the social security deductions (from our paychecks) is currently being used to pay current retirees with the balance going into the general fund to pay for current government programs. Do we want them to take our 401k monies and do the same?

The D.C Examiner has this opinion piece by Bret Jacobsen:

A mailer went out this week 500,000 retirees in swing states this week from the AFL-CIO warning that John McCain wants to “privatize” Social Security. Mysteriously absent will be any notice that organized labor and congressional Democrats held a hearing yesterday in San Francisco that could be a quiet step toward socializing your 401(k).

The hearing was pitched as a way to “ensure retirement security” in the face of financial crisis. But that’s not accurate. The event was part of a poorly disguised power-grab, exploiting panic over financial turmoil in the housing and credit markets.

All working Americans should be concerned about retirement proceedings under the watch of House Education and Labor Committee chairman Rep. George Miller, D-CA. According to recent reports, Miller and other Democrats are considering portions of a plan that would take away nearly $80 billion in tax incentives for 401(k) plans.

It’s possible the policy would force workers to pay an additional five percent of their paychecks into government-controlled accounts, from which they would earn only a three percent return. In other words, proponents of private Social Security accounts would see their grandest dreams, and worst nightmares, realized in one fell swoop.

Democratic leaders and their labor allies can kill two birds with one stone. First, they will effectively neuter private, defined-contribution plans, which have replaced union-controlled defined-benefit pension plans for millions of Americans (after all, why would workers lock money away if there were no tax incentive?). At the same time, they can force those resources into a bigger, bloated government bureaucracy.

While some may be surprised at the brazen attack on a pillar of retirement security, it is merely the natural extension of organized labor’s world vision, which says we are better off putting resources and decisions anywhere but in the domain of markets and individuals. It is simple socialism: Democrats hope to push more retirement resources under the purview of the government, and away from the people who actually created the wealth.

If Democrats indeed move ahead with the plan they are pondering, the bulk of a person’s nest egg could soon be scrambled in a government program earning less-than-market returns. Without this fresh injection of employees’ paychecks, Social Security solvency still remains in doubt and hardly seems a superior option over equity markets.

Meanwhile, if union officials have their way, more employees will be driven back to old-style defined-benefit pensions that have been crippling America’s employers and sometimes short-changing America’s employees.

Union pension funds covering private sector employees already controlled more than $800 billion in retirement assets as of 2005, according to figures compiled by Heritage Foundation scholar James Sherk.

The results are not always impressive. UPS, for one, was forced this year to escape the Teamsters’ “Central States” plan at great cost before just so it wouldn’t be on the hook for obligations of other employers that may be failing.

This is high-stakes, high-cynicism politics at its worst. Not only are politicians exploiting fears driven by a once-in-a-lifetime market meltdown, they are repeating the very same thinking that led to the current housing crisis. As Ronald Reagan said, “Government is not a solution to our problem, government is the problem.”

Yet, it is very likely that following yesterday’s San Francisco hearing, Democrats will push a “solution” that is about bigger government, bigger unions, and smaller economic growth. They may well succeed in enlarging the social safety net. But it will be just big enough to strangle our economy.

This is what we can expect if the Democrats increase their numbers in Congress to filibuster-proof levels with Barack Obama in the White House. This is definitely not change we need!

Rush Limbaugh discusses Democrats' 401k Nationalization Plan

UPDATE: Author of 401k seizure plan says intent to "spread the wealth."

Monday, October 27, 2008

Obama Redistribution of Wealth Audio Revealed

A recording from 2001 reveals more of Barack Obama's "redistribution of wealth" ideology.

This was while he was a state legislator and law professor.

National Review Online has more on the transcript.

FoxNews.com writes:

A 7-year-old radio interview in which Barack Obama discussed the failure of the Supreme Court to rule on redistributing wealth in its Civil Rights rulings has given fresh ammunition to critics who say the Democratic presidential candidate has a socialist agenda.

The interview -- conducted by Chicago Public Radio in 2001, while Obama was an Illinois state senator and a law professor at the University of Chicago -- delves into whether the civil rights movement should have gone further than it did, so that when "dispossessed peoples" appealed to the high court on the right to sit at the lunch counter, they should have also appealed for the right to have someone else pay for the meal.

In the interview, Obama said the civil rights movement was victorious in some regards, but failed to create a "redistributive change" in its appeals to the Supreme Court, led at the time by Chief Justice Earl Warren. He suggested that such change should occur at the state legislature level, since the courts did not interpret the U.S. Constitution to permit such change.

"The Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of basic issues of political and economic justice in this society, and to that extent as radical as people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn't that radical," Obama said in the interview, a recording of which surfaced on the Internet over the weekend.

"It didn't break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as it has been interpreted.

"And the Warren court interpreted it generally in the same way -- that the Constitution is a document of negative liberties, says what the states can't do to you, says what the federal government can't do to you, but it doesn't say what the federal government or state government must do on your behalf, and that hasn't shifted.

"And I think one of the tragedies of the civil rights movement was that the civil rights movement became so court-focused, I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and organizing activities on the ground that are able to bring about the coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change, and in some ways we still suffer from that," Obama said.

Someone asked at National Review Online a very good question:

"How can Obama take the oath of office to 'preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution' when he clearly does not believe in it and thinks it’s a flawed document, too focused on "negative liberties," instead of positive ones, and wishes to see the Supreme Court "break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution?"

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Obama Measuring The Drapes

Senator Barack Obama seems to think that he has this election in the bag. He's already planned a big election night bash in Chicago (hopefully, it'll turn into a wake). John Podesta supposedly is writing a draft inaugural address. He is denying it.

Governor Sarah Palin told a raucus crowd of 5,000 at the Tampa, Florida convention center today, "Barack Obama and I both have spent quite some time on the basketball court. But where I come from, you have to win the game before you start cutting down the net."

"You kinda get the feeling that the Obama campaign thinks this whole election process is just a formality," she said. "They've overlooked, though, the minor detail of earning your confidence and your trust and winning your vote.

"And judging from the media coverage, it does seem the coronation is already set," said Gov. Palin.

Elizabeth Holmes, in the Wall Street Journal, writes:

John McCain slammed Barack Obama Saturday for being overconfident about his lead in the polls and predicted election night would feature a Dewey-Truman scenario.

“What America needs now is someone who will finish the race before starting the victory lap,” McCain said to the crowd of several thousand at a rally here. “Someone who will fight to the end, not for himself but for his country.”

In remarks dripping with sarcasm and disdain, the Republican presidential candidate said brought up a story from the New York Times that said former White House Chief of Staff John Podesta has already penned a copy of Obama’s inaugural address.

“I’m not making it up,” McCain said. “An awful lot of voters are still undecided but he’s decided for them that well, why wait, it’s time to move forward with his first inaugural address.”

Obama spokesman Bill Burton quickly refuted the attack. “While this charge is completely false and there is no draft of an inaugural address for Senator Obama, the last thing we need is a candidate like John McCain who just plans on re-reading George Bush’s,” he said.

But McCain had more zingers, fresh off the presses—with his own kind of startling confidence: “When I pull this thing off, I have a request for my opponent, I want him to save that manuscript of his inaugural address and donate it to the Smithsonian so they can put it right next to the Chicago paper that says ‘ Dewey defeats Truman’!”

The reference was to the 1948 presidential race, where Thomas Dewey ran against Harry Truman. The Chicago Daily Tribune–now known as the Chicago Tribune–ran a banner headline proclaiming Dewey’s victory. Several hundred copies were printed before the mistake was realized.

Over-confidence is now becoming a real concern for Obama campaign aides. The Los Angeles Times reports:

The Obama camp has a different problem: trying to stave off overconfidence. Memories of 2004 -- when Democrat John F. Kerry entered election day leading in several key states -- have a chastening effect. "It wasn't too long ago that people thought McCain was on a pathway to sure victory," said David Plouffe, Obama's campaign chief. "As an organization, we don't get too high or too low."

I concede that McCain has an uphill climb, but this race is still winnable.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Biden Can't Handle Critical Questioning

Senator Joe Biden bristled at some questioning from a Florida television station. Obviously, this is one station not in the tank for Obama.

From FoxNews.com:

Barack Obama's campaign killed all interviews with a Florida TV station after Sen. Joe Biden, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, faced tough and critical questions from a reporter at the Orlando station, reported the Orlando Sentinel .

During a satellite video Thursday, WFTV's Barbara West quoted Karl Marx and asked Biden how Obama's comment to "Joe the Plumber," about spreading the wealth wasn't being Marxist.

"Are you joking?," Biden asked.

West replied, "No."

Later in the interview West questioned Biden about his comments that if Obama wins the election next month, he would be tested early on as president and wanted to know if Biden was implying America was no longer the world's leading power.

"I don't know who's writing your questions," Biden asked her.

The Obama camp then killed a WFTV interview with Biden's wife Jill, according to an Orlando Sentinel blog.

"This cancellation is non-negotiable, and further opportunities for your station to interview with this campaign are unlikely, at best for the duration of the remaining days until the election," wrote Laura K. McGinnis, Central Florida communications director for the Obama campaign, according to the Sentinel.
The Obama campaign seems to be a little thin-skinned.

Redistribution of Wealth

This joke has arrived in my emailbox in slightly different forms. But the essential story is this:

Redistribution of Wealth

Today on my way to lunch I passed a homeless guy with a sign that read "Vote Obama, I need the money." I laughed.

Once in the restaurant my server had on a "Obama 08" tie, and again I laughed as he had given away his political preference -- just imagine the

When the bill came I decided not to tip the server and explained to him that I was exploring the Obama redistribution of wealth concept. He stood there in disbelief while I told him that I was going to redistribute his tip to someone who I deemed more in need -- the homeless guy outside. The server angrily stormed from my sight.

I went outside, gave the homeless guy $10 and told him to thank the server inside as I've decided he could use the money more. The homeless guy was grateful.

At the end of my rather unscientific redistribution experiment I realized the homeless guy was grateful for the money he did not earn, but the waiter was pretty angry that I gave away the money he did earn even though the actual recipient "deserved" money more.

I guess redistribution of wealth is an easier thing to swallow in concept than in practical application.

Get the point?

Businesses Scramble For Bailout Cash

FoxNews.com is reporting that insurers, automakers and subsidiaries of foreign banks are clamoring for a piece of the bailout pie.

WASHINGTON — The bailout is now the hottest lobbying game in town.

Insurers, automakers and American subsidiaries of foreign banks all want the Treasury Department to cut them a piece of the largest government rescue in U.S. history.

The betting is that many with their hands out will be successful, especially with financial markets in a stomach-churning dive and predictions the economy is about to tumble into a deep recession.

These groups argue that the credit squeeze is so severe and the risks to the economy so dire that their industries need financial support as well.

The Treasury is considering requests from a variety of industries, but has not decided whether to expand the program, officials said Saturday.

Lobbying efforts are intensifying.

The Financial Services Roundtable wrote Treasury officials on Friday requesting that the initiative to buy $250 billion in bank stock grow to cover insurers, auto companies, securities dealers and U.S. subsidiaries of foreign companies, including banks. The Treasury's plan is intended to bolster banks' tattered balance sheets and get them to resume making loans.

As the Treasury now interprets it, these additional groups would not participate in the bank stock program. They could receive help from a separate part of the $700 billion rescue that will buy bad assets from financial institutions.

Steve Bartlett, the president of the Roundtable, urged the Treasury to broaden the definition of those eligible for the stock purchase program.

"The institutions that are excluded play a vital role in the U.S. economy by providing liquidity to the market," Bartlett wrote Neel Kashkari, the Treasury Department official running the bailout program.

Referring to U.S. subsidiaries of foreign companies, Bartlett said, "This is a global crisis and to not recognize the U.S. firms controlled by foreign banks or companies would create further impediment to the market's recovery."

A financial industry official said Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson met over the past week with various groups, including hedge fund managers, that were petitioning for assistance. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the Treasury has not made a decision.

Some insurers technically would be eligible for stock purchases now if they own subsidiaries that are savings and loan institutions regulated by the Office of Thrift Supervision.

Last month, American International Group, the country's largest insurance company, received an $85 billion loan from the Federal Reserve. Since then, it has gotten further support in an effort to withstand the biggest upheavals on Wall Street since the Great Depression.

Complicating the government's decision-making is that the Bush administration will not be in charge after Jan. 20. Paulson, who has said he has no intention of staying on the job, has pledged to consult with both campaigns on his bailout actions.

Democrat Barack Obama's presidential campaign said Friday it supported the effort by the auto industry to get money from the $250 billion made available for stock purchases. That would be in addition to $25 billion recently approved by Congress for low-interest loans to help the struggling industry retool and build fuel efficient vehicles.

The debate over expanding the bailout comes as the Treasury is rushing to get money out the door to the primary recipients: banks that sharply curtailed lending after suffering billions of dollars of losses on mortgage-related assets as home foreclosures soared in the housing slump.

Lawmakers are pressuring the Treasury to do more in the foreclosure area, as well.

Sheila Bair, head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., told Congress about efforts to provide government-backed loan guarantees for mortgages that are reworked to help homeowners in danger of default. That would give banks an incentive to speed up refinancing efforts because the government would back part of the reworked loan.

The Treasury also is moving ahead to get bank stock purchases approved. It announced on Oct. 14 that it was spending $125 billion to buy stock in nine of the largest financial institutions. An announcement was expected Friday about a second round involving 20 to 22 other banks.

But it was decided each bank would announce its own agreements with the Treasury, out of concern that excluded banks could suffer a stock sell-off from disappointed investors.

PNC Financial Services Group Inc. announced Friday it was acquiring National City Corp. for $5.58 billion, in what was the first instance of a bank using fresh investments from the bailout program to make an acquisition. PNC said it had received $7.7 billion in cash through selling stock to the government under the program.

I can personally vouch for the problems insurers are having. I was laid off last November from my claim adjusting job and it was blamed directly on the mortgage meltdown. It was explained that insurers were receiving fewer insurance premium dollars, therefore, my company had to downsize.

If the insurance industry is successful in receiving aid from the bailout, it could mean that insurers could begin hiring more people. We'll see. In the meantime, we'll just have to tough it out.

Save Your Job, Save Your Business: Vote McCain-Palin

Barack Obama has said that he will tax individuals and businesses with incomes over $250,000.

If you are a small business owner, you know that an additional tax could ruin you in these already difficult times. People who understand the concept of accounts receivable will know what I am talking about. For a small business with overhead and staff costs, $250,000 is not a huge amount of money.

If you don't personally make $250K, you may be working for a small business who does. If Obama is elected, he will tax your boss's business and the only recourse your boss will have is make cuts in staff or just say, "the heck with it" and close shop. There goes your job!

Also, Obama said that he will not renew the Bush tax cuts. That will hike your income tax to the Bill Clinton levels. Rep. Barney Frank (one of the architects of the Fannie Mae/Freddy Mac debacle) has stated that more taxes and spending are coming if the Democrats win.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to tell you what's in store if Obama wins on November 4.

John McCain will not add to your and your boss's tax burden. The choice is clear, don't elect Barack Obama. Vote for John McCain-Sarah Palin.

Noel Neill Statue Website Opens

Noel Neill and Armand, above, at the Los Angeles County Hall of Administration in July 2001 for "Superman Week."

A new website supporting the efforts in erecting a statue of Noel Neill at the Super Museum in Metropolis, Illinois has been opened.

From Noel Neil Statue.com:

In 2005, The Metropolis Chamber of Commerce, Metropolis Illinois, the Home of Superman, announced the formation of "The Noel Neill Statue Committee".

The committee's sole purpose is to spearhead and oversee the construction of a life-size bronze statue of Noel Neill as "Lois Lane" to be placed in Metropolis, Illinois. The model for the statue is below.

The idea is to acknowledge Noel's contributions to the Superman Celebration as the "First Lady of Metropolis" and her portrayal of Lois Lane in the Serials and the TV series of the 1950s, "The Adventures of Superman" with an honorable and permanent gesture of love from the citizens of Metropolis and from her countless fans around the world.

The concept was presented to Noel at her 85th Birthday Party held in North Hollywood, California and, with Noel's blessing, a competition for the design of a Noel Neill as Lois Lane statue was thrown open to Sculptors everywhere!

For $75.00 each, commemorative bricks will be placed at the base of the statue. Ordering information is available at the website.

Above, Noel Neill and George Reeves: two television icons.

Democrats' Wish List

Michael Barone speculates on what to expect from an Obama Administration in partnership with a filibuster-proof Congress led by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. The picture isn't a pretty one:

What will an Obama administration and a Congress with increased Democratic majorities do? That's a relevant question, given the Democrats' leads in the polls. And it's a little hard to answer, given the financial crisis that has been raging and the recession that seems to be ahead.

One thing they will certainly do is raise taxes on high earners. The Bush tax cuts are scheduled to expire in 2010, and congressional Democrats will gleefully allow the top rates to rise. Left-leaning Democrats, like Barack Obama himself, want to "spread the wealth around," as the candidate told Joe the Plumber in October. Blue Dog Democrats want to reduce the budget deficit and will welcome the additional revenue that the Congressional Budget Office's static-analysis models will promise.

Raising taxes when the economy is weakening is not the medicine prescribed by Keynesian economics, and it is probably not what Obama's economic advisers would prescribe if they were starting from scratch today. It is what Herbert Hoover and Congress did in the early 1930s, and it helped to produce the Great Depression. But it is baked into the pie.

So is a slide toward trade protectionism. The breakdown of the Doha Round and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's refusal to bring the Colombia Free Trade Agreement to a vote mean that both multilateral and bilateral trade liberalism channels are clogged. Obama may or may not try to renegotiate NAFTA, as both Canada and Mexico have center-right governments satisfied with current arrangements. But the trend will be toward less free trade.

The prospects are cloudier for two other issues on which Obama has made big promises. Much of the next Congress's time and psychic energy will be taken up with refashioning financial regulation -- a subject of considerable difficulty. And the looming recession will make it politically risky for Democrats to push big spending programs.

This means that Congress in the next two years may not pass Obama's national health insurance plan. The weakening economy and the enraged reaction earlier this year to $4-a-gallon gasoline also make it less likely that Congress will pass carbon reduction legislation -- certainly not a carbon tax and probably not a cap-and-trade system.

Regional impact. In any case, health insurance and carbon reduction will be heavily lobbied, despite all the denunciations of lobbyists issued by Obama (and John McCain). Any one-size-fits-all healthcare bill affects various regions differently, because we have many healthcare delivery and finance systems across the country. The same goes for carbon reduction legislation, as the economies of some regions depend more heavily on coal than do others; it may be hard to convince voters there that we have to impose burdens on them today to achieve promised benefits in 2050. These disparities cut across party lines and helped defeat the Clinton healthcare proposals in 1994. They will probably come into play again if far-ranging bills are pressed forward.

Two issues pushed by Democrats in this Congress have no budgetary costs. One is the "fairness doctrine," which is intended to shut down talk radio, the one communications medium in which conservative voices are dominant. The other is the so-called card check bill, which requires employers to bargain with unions when
their organizers secure signatures on cards from a majority of employees; secret-ballot unionization elections, required now, would be a thing of the past. The aim is to vastly increase union membership, pumping money into a Democratic pressure group.

What might happen in the unlikely event McCain is elected and faces a Democratic Congress? Presumably he would try to hold tax rates down, but to do so he might have to embrace the kind of bipartisan tax reform enacted in 1986, with low rates and fewer preferences. Democrats might be willing to bargain if they could get rid of the alternative minimum tax, which threatens their core constituencies. McCain's plan to end the tax preference for employer-provided health insurance could be the basis of compromise with a similar plan advanced by Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden that has bipartisan support. McCain might also seek a bipartisan carbon reduction bill.

Much depends, whoever wins, on whether Democrats elect enough senators to overcome filibusters. Even more may ride on the course of the economy and the depth of the recession, which could scotch either candidate's proposals.

It is highly doubtful that Obama would buck against his own party, given his past track record shows that he never has. Obama was never a champion of government reform either.

One also has to take his "middle-class tax cut" promises with a grain of salt since he promised to take government campaign finance and then reneged on it. Obviously, his word doesn't mean anything.

Hold on to your wallets, folks!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Republican Traitors For Obama

John McCain wasn't my first choice for the GOP Presidential Nomination. He wasn't even my third. I supported (in order) Fred Thompson, Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney. As each one flopped at the polls, I moved on to the next candidate that best reflected my views.

On the other end of the continent, the GOP primaries, cheered on by GOP moderates and some press outlets, picked John McCain. Then the Democrats chose Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton. I'm no fan of Hillary Clinton, but she was far preferable than Obama.

Now we are seeing members of the GOP Rockefeller wing, who pushed for McCain, coming out to support Obama over McCain. What's up with this? Rats jumping ship, that's what! McCain was chosen by the party voters. But some elitists within the party are abandoning McCain and thereby putting the country at risk. Maybe they're hoping that they'll continue to receive invitations to Georgetown cocktail parties by backing Obama.

Although I have some issues with McCain, he at least would not plunge this country into Marxist socialism. His pick of Gov. Sarah Palin made me and many others enthusiastic.

Noted GOP traitors include Gen. Colin Powell. It is amazing that he would support a radical, quasi-Marxist over McCain, a friend for over 25 years. With friends like Powell, who needs enemies?! Powell rose in stature thanks to Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush. He essentially pissed on Ronald Reagan's memory by backing Obama. Powell brown-nosed his way up to the top in Reagan's administration.

Now former Massachusetts Governor William Weld is backing Obama. So is former national security advisor Kenneth Adelman. Adelman called McCain “impetuous, inconsistent, and imprudent; ending up just plain weird” in his handling of the U.S. economic crisis. He also was unsettled by McCain’s choice of running mate. “Not only is Sarah Palin not close to being acceptable in high office—I would not have hired her for even a mid-level post in the arms-control agency,” Adelman wrote in the New Yorker. And Obama is "acceptable" to you?! What idiocy!

The useless slug of a human being, Scott McClellan, a former spokesman for President George W. Bush, also endorsed Obama on Thursday. There's a few others that are not worth noting.

I hope to hell that McCain and Palin wins this election. It would be perfect payback against these Republican traitors.

I know some Republican who don't like McCain on principle, but at least they won't be voting for Obama.

Regardless on who wins the election, there will definitely be an internal battle within the Republican Party. These "Benedict Arnolds" are welcome to join the Democrat Party. If they do, good riddance!

"Gamera The Brave" DVD Available December 30

Gamera The Brave Japanese Poster

Media Blasters/Tokyo Shock has announced that the 2006 feature, Gamera The Brave (also known as Gamera: The Little Braves, at least that's what my ticket to the Tokyo premiere said) will be released on DVD in the United States and Canada on December 30.

It is to be a 2-disc set with extras that will, presumably, include trailers, behind-the-scenes featurettes and a possible commentary track.

It is now available for pre-order via Amazon.com:


Actors: Kaho
Directors: Ryuta Tasaki
Format: Color, Dubbed, DVD-Video, NTSC, Subtitled
Language: English
Subtitles: English
Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)

Number of discs: 2
Studio: Tokyo Shock
DVD Release Date: December 30, 2008
Run Time: 96 minutes
Average Customer Review: No customer reviews yet. Be the first.
Amazon.com Sales Rank: #77,535 in Movies & TV

Synopsis: A young boy, who lost his mother to an auto accident, finds an egg on an off-shore island. The egg hatches a turtle, which the boy takes home. The boy's father, a restaurant owner in a small town at a Japan inlet, tries to cope with his wife's death and his son. The turtle experiences growth spurts and goes to battle with a sea monster named Zedus. The final battle takes place in Nagoya.

I attended the April 2006 Tokyo premiere (photo below) of Gamera The Brave and found it to be an entertaining giant monster flick. I own the Kadokawa Herald DVD (Region 2) which included the Tokyo premiere in the extras disc. The movie is geared toward kids, but it isn't sappy to make adults cringe.

My Grade: B+

Krauthammer Makes The Case For McCain

Columnist Charles Krauthammer has a new and timely article, "McCain The Stalwart" that makes the case for electing John McCain president of the United States.

His article reads in part:

The case for McCain is straightforward. The financial crisis has made us forget, or just blindly deny, how dangerous the world out there is. We have a generations-long struggle with Islamic jihadism. An apocalyptic soon-to-be-nuclear Iran. A nuclear-armed Pakistan in danger of fragmentation. A rising Russia pushing the limits of revanchism. Plus the sure-to-come Falklands-like surprise popping out of nowhere.

Who do you want answering that phone at 3 a.m.? A man who's been cramming on these issues for the last year, who's never had to make an executive decision affecting so much as a city, let alone the world? A foreign policy novice instinctively inclined to the flabbiest, most vaporous multilateralism (e.g., the Berlin Wall came down because of "a world that stands as one"), and who refers to the most deliberate act of war since Pearl Harbor as "the tragedy of 9/11," a term more appropriate for a bus accident?

To read the full article, go here.

Obama Was Member of Socialist New Party

World Net Daily is reporting that documentation has been found showing that Sen. Barack Obama was a member of the socialist New Party while campaigning for a seat on the Illinois state senate.

By Aaron Klein
© 2008 WorldNetDaily

JERUSALEM – Evidence has emerged that Sen. Barack Obama belonged to a socialist political party that sought to elect members to public office with the aim of moving the Democratic Party far leftward to ultimately form a new political party with a socialist agenda.

Several blogs, including Powerline, previously documented that while running for the Illinois state Senate in 1996 as a Democrat, Obama actively sought and received the endorsement of the socialist-oriented New Party, with some blogs claiming Obama was a member of the controversial party.

The New Party, formed by members of the Democratic Socialists for America and leaders of an offshoot of the Community Party USA, was an electoral alliance that worked alongside the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN. The New Party's aim was to help elect politicians to office who espouse its policies.

Among New Party members was linguist and radical activist Noam Chomsky.

Obama's campaign has responded to the allegations, denying the presidential candidate was ever a member of the New Party.

But the New Zeal blog dug up print copies of the New Party News, the party's official newspaper, which show Obama posing with New Party leaders, list him as a New Party member and include quotes from him.

The party's Spring 1996 newspaper boasted: "New Party members won three other primaries this Spring in Chicago: Barack Obama (State Senate), Michael Chandler (Democratic Party Committee) and Patricia Martin (Cook County Judiciary). The paper quoted Obama saying "these victories prove that small 'd' democracy can work."

The newspaper lists other politicians it endorsed who were not members but specifies Obama as a New Party member.

Obama has denied being a member of this socialist group. The evidence shows otherwise.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Spider Eats Bird

The Cairns Post in Australia has an article and photo of a big (and I do mean BIG) spider eating a bird in a backyard in Cairns.

THIS amazing image of a mammoth spider devouring a bird was taken in the backyard of a property near Cairns.

The image, which is being cirulated via email worldwide, is real, according to wildlife experts, The Cairns Post reported.

The photo, believed to have been taken earlier this week, shows the spider clenching its legs around a lifeless bird trapped in a web at a property near Atherton, west of Cairns.

Joel Shakespeare, the head spider keeper at NSW's Australian Reptile Park, has told ninemsn the spider was a golden orb weaver.

"Normally they prey on large insects, it's unusual to see one eating a bird," he said.

Mr Shakepeare said he had seen golden orb weaver spiders as big as a human hand but the northern species in tropical areas were known to grow larger.

Mr Shakespeare told ninemsn the bird, a chestnut-breasted mannikin which appears frozen in an angel-like pose in the pictures, is likely to have flown into the web and got caught.

"It wouldn't eat the whole bird," he said.

Three Points To Hit Obama With

Hugh Hewitt posted three main arguments that Sen. John McCain should use against Sen. Barack Obama in the final week in the campaign. They are:

1. Obama's judgment must be evaluated through the lens of his past decisions to associate closely with people like Bill Ayers, Tony Rezko, Jeremiah Wright and ACORN. If elected Obama will staff senior jobs in the U.S. government. These will not be your father's Democrats, but hard-left activists from KosLand and the training fields of ACORN.

2. Obama's plan to hike taxes across the board --including the death tax-- while raising trade barriers is a recipe for taking a short and shallow recession and making it deep and long. Americans want their money back and their retirement accounts to grow again. That's can't be done unless the markets recover and the markets can't thrive under huge tax burdens and declining international trade.

3. The country and the world will be an enormously more dangerous place under a President Obama, just as a fats car in the hands of a 15 year old driver is an enormously dangerous vehicle. Yesterday's story in Haaretz confirmed Joe Biden's warning from Sunday that the world is nearing an enormous crisis, one for which Obama is simply unprepared.

If McCain hits on these with vivid images, he can pull off an upset win that would give the MSM cardiac arrests.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pelosi Slime Machine Targeting Rep. Michele Bachmann

The Nancy Pelosi slime machine has targeted Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.

Bachmann appeared on Hardball with Chris Matthews and had her comments viciously distorted by the Democrat slime machine. Nancy Pelosi appeared in Bachmann's district and said Bachmann "dishonors" the office she holds.

Since Bachmann's appearance last week, the Democrats distorted Bachmann's comments on Barack Obama (claiming she called him "anti-American") and raised over a million dollars for her defeat from sources outside of Minnesota.

According to Minneapolis Star Tribune:

Matthews on Friday asked Bachmann whether she believed that Obama may have anti-American views. Bachmann replied: "Absolutely, I'm very concerned that he may have anti-American views."

But in her address to the Rotary in St. Cloud, Bachmann said: "I did not, nor do I, question Barack Obama's patriotism ... I did not say that Barack Obama is anti-American nor do I believe that Barack Obama is anti-American."

Bachmann has been a good member of Congress and deserves re-election. To help her out, go to Michele Bachmann.com

If You Think Spending Is Out Of Control Now...

If Barack Obama is elected president, hold on to your hat and, especially, your wallet.

If you thought government spending is out of control now, with the bailouts on top of the "normal" budget excesses, then this from Rep. Barney Frank should give us all fair warning on what may be on the horizon:

I think at this point, there needs to be a focus on an immediate increase in spending and I think this is a time when deficit fear has to take a second seat. I do think this is a time for a kind of very important dose of Keynesianism. I believe later on there should be tax increases. Speaking personally, I think there are a lot of very rich people out there whom we can tax at a point down the road and recover some of this money.

He wants to increase spending.

He wants to ignore the deficit.

He wants to tax the hell out of "rich" people.

With the possibility of an unchecked Congress (with Pelosi and Reid at the helm) and the most left wing president in the White House, this is not a pretty picture.

Unfortunately, nobody seems to be paying attention. But they'll pay later. See you in the soup lines.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Ginza and Hibiya Park, Tokyo

Photos and text by and copyright Armand Vaquer

Ginza and Hibiya Park, Tokyo are so close to each other that a visitor can walk from one to the other without so much as breaking a sweat, even in the humid summer of Tokyo.

Ginza is Tokyo's upscale shopping district. It first appeared in Godzilla (1954) as a detailed miniature. The craftsmen at Toho faithfully recreated Ginza well enough to give viewers an idea on how the district looked in 1954.

Ginza, Tokyo 2006

During Godzilla's nighttime rampage in Tokyo, the clock atop the Wako Department store (below) at Ginza Crossing gonged the hour and thus annoyed the giant beast. Godzilla then proceeded to tear down the clock and the department store along with it. He also torches the Matsuzakaya Department Store, one of Tokyo's priciest retailers.

Across the street from the Wako Building, is the Mitsukoshi department store. The Mitsukoshi was one of the first Western-style department stores in Japan. It sustained heavy bomb damage in World War II, but has been rebuilt and is still a thriving department store.

Besides the Wako and Mitsukoshi Department stores, Ginza also has the Takashimaya, Seibu, Daimaru, Tobu, Odakyu , Tokyu and Printemps Department stores. Apple Computers also has a big store in Ginza.

Besides being an upscale shopping distict, Ginza's real estate value is among the highest, if not the highest in Japan. According to the Old Tokyo website, "Ginza Crossing is still considered to be Tokyo's prime real estate, with prices fetching into the tens of thousands of dollars per square meter!" This was also mentioned by our tour guides during 2004's G-TOUR as we were bused through the district.

Proceeding on, as Godzilla headed into Hibiya Park, he approaches the train overcrossing that separates Ginza and Hibiya. He steps on the electrified tracks and the electrical current coursing though his body causes his tail to whip about, smashing the Toho Nichigeki Theater. Today, the Nichigeki is no longer there and has been replaced by the Yurakucho Mullion Building, which appeared in Return of Godzilla (1984) (released here as Godzilla 1985) and Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah during the opening sequence. The Picadilly Theaters are housed in the Yurakucho Mullion building. Gamera: The Little Braves (2006) premiered there in April 2006.

Much of Hibiya Park consists of commercial office and government buildings. Many of the office buildings are owned and occupied by various departments and subsidiaries of Toho Co., Ltd. Toho has a many real estate holdings in Hibiya.

Proceeding west along Harumi-Dori Ave. from Ginza Crossing, and passing the Yurakucho Mullion Building, a visitor will walk under the train tracks (the Yurakucho Station is just around the corner from the Yurakucho Mullion) to enter Hibiya. (There is a coffee shop called Becker's under these tracks. They also serve good hamburgers, in case one should get hungry.) About a block or two from the tracks is a small side street (the Toho Twin Tower is at one corner) to the left that leads to the Hibiya Chante square where the Godzilla statue stands on a pedestal surrounded by raised-relief hand casts (in metal) of Japanese celebrities.

Godzilla Statue in Hibiya Park, Tokyo

This is the "Mecca" (or "mecha") that G-fans go to when in Tokyo.

Nearby the Godzilla statue is the Imperial Hotel. It is a luxurious hotel today, but in 1954 it may not have been if Steve Martin (Raymond Burr) was able to stay there on a reporter's salary or the United World News' expense account. There are also several theaters in the area near the Godzilla statue. The Imperial Palace Plaza, East Garden and Nijubashi Bridge are within easy walking distance from the Godzilla statue. Across Harumi-Dori Ave. from the Toho Twin Tower is the Yurakucho Denki Building, which houses the offices of Toho International. Toho International's conference room overlooks the Imperial Palace Plaza and Nijubashi Bridge and the view is impressive.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Biden: "Gird Your Loins"

Senator Joe Biden (a.k.a. "Joe the Hair-Plugger") says that people need to "gird their loins" if Barack Obama is elected. He also said that an international incident will arise within six months of Obama's inauguration to put him to the test.

"Mark my words," Biden said. "It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We're about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America. 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."

"I can give you at least four or five scenarios from where it might originate," Biden told supporters, mentioning the Middle East and Russia as possibilities. "And he's gonna need help. And the kind of help he's gonna need is, he's gonna need you - not financially to help him - we're gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it's not gonna be apparent initially, it's not gonna be apparent that we're right."

Let's see, there are a number of possibilities. Iran may attack Israel. Israel may attack Iran. Russia may invade another country. Venezuela may attack Columbia. A terrorist attack may hit the United States. North Korea may attack South Korea. China may attack Taiwan. The possibilities are endless.

What this tells us is that foreign countries may not see Obama as a great uniter, but rather a weak, untested, inexperienced nobody who would be a pushover. Note that no such fears center around Sen. John McCain. He's already well known. Obama isn't.

The U.S.S.R. misjudged John F. Kennedy from his performance in a summit meeting in Vienna in 1961 with Nikita Khrushchev which led to the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.

Amanda Carpenter noted at Townhall.com:

Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden is already trying to manage expectations for an Obama Administration.

Biden, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, told supporters at a fundraiser in Seattle that it might not be immediately apparent Obama is "right" during his first 100 days in office, especially on foreign policy matters.

This is scary. Is this really something we should take a chance in happening if Obama, the inexperienced and untested One, is elected?

No, thank you!

Bela Lugosi's Birthday

Today is Bela Lugosi's birthday. He was born Bela Ferenc Dezso Blasko in Lugos, Hungary on October 20, 1882, 126 years ago.

In celebration of Lugosi's birthday, here's a few photos from his career.

Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman:


At home in 1930s:

Suspense, 1949:

Son of Frankenstein, 1939:

Being interviewed, 1930s:

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Non-Story Of The Year

Colin Powell's endorsement of Barack Obama only confirms what conservatives already knew about him. He's a R.I.N.O. (Republican In Name Only). No surprise.

Funny, if McCain had chosen Powell to be his running-mate, the same people having orgasms over the Obama endorsement would be badmouthing Powell over his United Nations speech on WMD in Iraq.

As Jonathan Garthwaite posted at Townhall.com, this is the non-story of the year.

Here's Mark Steyn's comments.


Powell Backed Black Democrat Before

Sunday, October 19, 2008 4:08 PM

By: Kenneth R. Timmerman

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama on Sunday morning during his appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press."

The media spin has been that Powell, a Republican and former John McCain supporter, has taken very the unusual step of crossing party lines to back a Democrat he thinks will serve the country best.

But a review of Powell’s own campaign contributions with the FEC shows that he has crossed party lines once before to help an African-American Democrat in a federal race.

In 1994, then-Virginia Gov. L. Douglas Wilder, the state’s first African-American governor, entered the Democratic primary in a bid for the U.S. Senate.

Records show that Powell donated $1,000 to Wilder’s campaign. Wilder later withdraw from the primary as polls showed him lagging three other candidates.

Interestingly, Powell’s endorsement came despite the fact that in 2007 he dipped into his wallet and wrote a $2,300 check to McCain.

Powell’s contribution – the maximum allowed by law – came at a time when the press had written off McCain and said his campaign was about to collapse.

Obama Leaks Cabinet Picks

Just in time for Halloween, the Obama campaign (counting their chickens before they hatch again) has leaked to the Times of London a couple of choices for his cabinet.

Bill Dyer writes at Townhall.com:

Sen. Barack Obama has done America a great service by leaking some names of likely cabinet nominees to the Times of London.

For Secretary of Defense, The One is is looking to the Republican whose own bad judgment most closely duplicated Sen. Obama's own in fervently opposing the Surge and demanding that we surrender in Iraq on a strict timetable: Sen. Chuck Hagel. In January 2007, Sen. Hagel was quoted as saying that the surge would be "the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam, if it's carried out."

And for the National Leader of the International Mother-May-I Team — excuse me, Secretary of State — Sen. Obama's leaking the name of Sen. John F. "Global Test" Kerry. Sen. Kerry, you'll recall, has splendid foreign policy credentials, having left behind in a Massachusetts closet his uniform as an officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve in 1970 (and perhaps again in 1971) so that he could travel to Paris and meet secretly and in mufti with our Viet Cong and North Vietnamese enemies.

John McCain was correct that Americans need not be "scared" that Obama himself is a terrorist or the like. But Americans ought be afraid of spectacularly bad judgments like these and the catastrophic consequences they could cause for the entire world.

"Change we can belive in"? These would be funny if the stakes weren't so high. Obama seems to think that he's coasting to a victory next month. But current tracking polls are showing that he's losing ground. These picks will only cause him to lose more.

Who's next? Jane Fonda?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Peggy Noonan: What Happened?

Former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan wrote a piece on Governor Sarah Palin and questioned Palin's conservative credentials. The piece speaks more volumes on Noonan than it does Palin.

Part of what Noonan wrote:

For seven weeks I've listened to her, trying to understand if she is Bushian or Reaganite — a spender, to speak briefly, whose political decisions seem untethered to a political philosophy, and whose foreign policy is shaped by a certain emotionalism, or a conservative whose principles are rooted in philosophy, and whose foreign policy leans more toward what might be called romantic realism, and that is speak truth, know America, be America, move diplomatically, respect public opinion, and move within an awareness and appreciation of reality.

My feeling is that Noonan seems to have disconnected with heartland conservatives. Peggy Noonan's speechwriting work for President Reagan will always be cherished by me. I enjoyed her memoirs of those days. But something seemed to have happened to her recently. She calls herself a conservative, but she seems to have been taken in by Obamatron talking points. Maybe she's been in the Manhattan cocoon too long or some liberal there spiked her drink at the last cocktail party.

Sarah Palin's political hero is Ronald Reagan. Michael Reagan sees a lot of his dad in her. (Would Peggy dare to question Michael Reagan?) Who is she to question whether or not Palin is a Bushie or Reaganaut?

I feel very sad for Peggy. I hope she takes a month-long vacation (the sooner, the better) and spends the time in the heartland of America to re-connect with conservatives and get her political soul back.

Repeal The Community Reinvestment Act!

The 1977 Community Reinvestment Act, signed by Jimmy Carter (that was beefed up by Bill Clinton), is at the root of the current Mortgage Crisis/Wall Street Debacle.

While most of the attention is on the current credit freeze and bailout, one thing is getting little notice: The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA).

It was through this Act that the subprime mortgage loans were made to people who didn't qualify for a conventional loan (with downpayment, fixed rate, adequate income, etc.). What's to stop this problem from occurring again or continue to occur unless the Community Reinvestment Act and all other subprime loan mandates are repealed?

So far, I've seen no action in Congress in ridding us of these mandates. We all know who controls Congress, don't we?

Obama: Yes We Can Commit Credit Card Fraud

Someone is committing credit card fraud on Barack Obama's behalf.

Tom Brown received a strange email from Discover. Their monitors noticed that Mr. Brown's account rang up a strange charge: $2,300 to Barack Obama's presidential campaign.

From KSDK:

"My wife said, 'Oh my God!' Right away, she called Discover to cancel the card," Brown said. "I talked to Discover about it, and they said it looks like it was keyed in from Chicago."

Specifically, the e-mail indicated the charge came from Obama for America Chicago Illinois. The Browns were able to get the charge refunded by Discover.

"It was under his name. Under 'merchant,' it read 'Obama for America.' And we basically would not give a politician $2,300 dollars. We would not give any politician, probably, a dollar. And I really, basically, don't know who's at fault, for this, or who did what," Brown said. "But someone out there is trying to hit people's charges and collect money."

Other people have noticed this and contacted their credit card companies and the Obama campaign. When they contact the Obama campaign, they try to pursuade the cardholder to allow the charge. If refused, the do cancel the charge. (Source: A call to the Hugh Hewit Show from another Obama credit card scam victim.)

Michelle Malkin posted another case:

A North Kansas City couple has been left scratching their heads after they became the victims of a political scam.

Steve and Rachel Larman say a strange credit card charge appeared on their statement this month — a $2300 donation to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. The Larman’s say they don’t want this to be about their political affiliation, but they say they’re not about to give the Obama campaign any help from their pocketbook.

They said they notified Chase, their credit card bank, to report the fraud.

“(They) said that they had seen-they were familiar with this,” said Steve Larman. “It was fraud, they believe through telemarketing but they were going to be doing some more investigations.”

The Larman’s don’t want their politics to enter into what is essentially just a fraudulent charge. But they say that the charge involves the Obama campaign adds insult to injury for the registered Republicans.

“They (Chase) kept on asking me ‘are you sure you wouldnt have gone to a site in support of Obama’,” said Rachel Larman. “And I repeatedly said ‘Im voting for McCain - I would not be going to an Obama site’.”

Chase dropped the charge from the Larman’s card. The couple is thankful thay they caught the charge on the card, but worried that others may not see that type of fraud on their own credit cards before it’s too late.

It appears that either the Obama campaign or someone working for them has a massive credit card campaign to scam donations to Obama. Keep in mind, if elected, Obama would bring into the federal government over 3,000 appointees to various departments and agencies. Do you want these kinds of people with your data at their fingertips?

Obama's Newspaper Endorsements: Gee, What A Surprise!

The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times have all endorsed Senator Barack Obama for president. There really isn't any surprise there. Each of them have promoted the campaign by stealth in their stories of the campaign.

The New York Times has been the most egregious of the bunch, so there'd be no surprise if they join the ranks of the endorsers for Obama. Now they are publishing a hit piece on Cindy McCain.

It is interesting to look at the editorials containing their endorsements.

The Los Angeles Times, in their editorial to be released tomorrow says, "He is no lone rider." "He is a consensus builder, a leader. . . . He represents the nation as it is, and as it aspires to be."

Consensus builder?! A leader?! Obama hasn't lifted a finger to work with the GOP on anything. He hasn't ever bucked his own party on any issue. Obama is product and part of the Daley Chicago machine. He never reformed anything. That is just plain laughable.

The LA Times boasts that they haven't endorsed a Democrat for president ever. Their last presidential endorsement was in 1972 for Richard Nixon. This also isn't the same Los Angeles Times. Back then, the paper was owned by the Times Mirror Company (I used to work for them) of the Chandler Family. It is now owned by the Chicago Tribune. No doubt there's some big Chicago influence there, if you catch my drift.

The Washington Post's endorsement is not surprising either since it is well-known to be a pro-Democrat liberal newspaper. But its editorial is telling.

"The choice is made easy in part by Mr McCain's disappointing campaign, above all his irresponsible selection of a running mate who is not ready to be president," says the Post.

Right. Obama has had no executive experience, has no notable achievements in any elected office and cavorts with leftists and Black Liberation Theology loons. Sarah Palin is arguably more qualified as Obama.

It described Obama as "a man of supple intelligence, with a nuanced grasp of complex issues and evident skill at conciliation and consensus-building."

Here we go again, "consensus-building." Sorry, the evidence does not support this. In fact, it is quite the opposite.

"Mr Obama has the potential to become a great president," wrote the Post. "Yes, we have reservations and concerns, almost inevitably, given Mr Obama's relatively brief experience in national politics. But we also have enormous hopes."

They have "reservations and concerns" on Obama, yet they diss on Sarah Palin. Some had high hopes about Jimmy Carter, but we know what a disaster he was. Such hypocrisy!

The fortunate thing nowadays is that newspaper endorsements don't carry the weight as they once did. People don't make up their minds on choosing a candidate based on what a newspaper says. Their editorial slant during the campaign can easily tell one who they're backing. It is not transparent.

But it is still laughable to read of their reasoning for supporting Obama.

UPDATE 10/24/08:
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The New York Times endorsed Democrat Barack Obama for U.S. president on Thursday, saying he had "met challenge after challenge, growing as a leader and putting real flesh on his early promises of hope and change."

The Times posted its endorsement on its Internet site on Thursday evening and was to publish it in Friday editions of the newspaper.

Earlier this year, the newspaper endorsed New York Sen. Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination, but it said Obama had long ago erased the reservations that led it to make that decision.

"He has drawn in legions of new voters with powerful messages of hope and possibility and calls for shared sacrifice and social responsibility," the Times said. "He has shown a cool head and sound judgment. We believe he has the will and the ability to forge the broad political consensus that is essential to finding solutions to this nation's problems."

The newspaper declared that the choice between Obama and Republican John McCain was easy.

"Mr. McCain, whom we chose as the best Republican nominee in the primaries, has spent the last coins of his reputation for principle and sound judgment to placate the limitless demands and narrow vision of the far-right wing," it said.

It would be a surprise if the New York Times endorsed McCain considering the trashing (disguised as "journalism") they've given him.

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