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January 24, 2006

Leaving Baghdad...Will Not Bring Us Peace

No matter what the anti-war factions in this country say, the war in Iraq is only a small part of the war on terror. We are in a global war against the militant Muslims who want the world to be a Muslim theocracy and will do anything to stop democracy from spreading.

Right now we are being attacked by the Islamo-fascists in Iraq on a regular basis because we are the closest target. If we leave Iraq, we won't be attacked on a daily basis, but we will be attacked and the wackos will have a cozy little base from which to plan their mischief. There will be attacks on our embassies, our ships, and the hotels, bars and restaurants where Americans congregate. There will be attacks in the United States. The terrorists will merely have more time to dream up more 9/11's.

Frankly, I would much rather keep the terrorists occupied and on the defensive in Iraq. If we leave, they will merely have more time to plan their attacks elsewhere.

Leaving Iraq will not bring us peace, and you can take that to the bank.

Posted by Rick | January 24, 2006 02:31 PM | Political Science

January 18, 2006

Wealth In America - What A Country!!!

From Forbes.com comes the annual list of the 400 wealthiest Americans. Although inheriting your wealth is still a great way to become wealthy (see Walton family), America is still the land of opportunity for enteprenuers in every walk of life. Amazingly, you have to almost be a billionaire to make the list. The cutoff was $900 million, with seventeen people tied for that honor. If you are not even a millionaire yet, you better get busy if you hope to ever make the list. Here are the top 50 on the Forbes list of:

THE 400 RICHEST AMERICANS

RANK - NAME - NET WORTH ($MILLIONS) - AGE - RESIDENCE - SOURCE OF WEALTH
1 - Gates, William Henry III - 51,000 - 49 - Medina, WA - Microsoft
2 - Buffett, Warren Edward - 40,000 - 75 - Omaha, NE - Berkshire Hathaway
3 - Allen, Paul Gardner - 22,500 - 52 - Seattle, WA - Microsoft, investments
4 - Dell, Michael - 18,000 - 40 - Austin, TX - Dell Computers
5 - Ellison, Lawrence Joseph - 17,000 - 61 - Silicon Valley, CA - Oracle
6 - Walton, Christy - 15,700 - 50 - Jackson, WY - Wal-Mart inheritance
6 - Walton, Jim C - 15,700 - 57 - Bentonville, AR - Wal-Mart
8 - Walton, S Robson - 15,600 - 61 - Bentonville, AR - Wal-Mart
9 - Walton, Alice L - 15,500 - 56 - Fort Worth, TX - Wal-Mart
10 - Walton, Helen R - 15,400 - 86 - Bentonville, AR - Wal-Mart
11 - Ballmer, Steven Anthony - 14,000 - 49 - Redmond, WA - Microsoft
12 - Anthony, Barbara Cox - 12,500 - 82 - Honolulu, HI - Cox Enterprises
12 - Chambers, Anne Cox - 12,500 - 85 - Atlanta, GA - Cox Enterprises
12 - Johnson, Abigail - 12,500 - 43 - Boston, MA - Fidelity
15 - Adelson, Sheldon - 11,500 - 72 - Las Vegas, NV - Casinos, hotels
16 - Brin, Sergey - 11,000 - 32 - San Francisco, CA - Google
16 - Page, Larry E - 11,000 - 32 - San Francisco, CA - Google
18 - Omidyar, Pierre M - 10,200 - 38 - Henderson, NV - Ebay
19 - Kerkorian, Kirk - 10,000 - 88 - Los Angeles, CA - Investments, casinos
19 - Mars, Forrest Edward Jr - 10,000 - 74 - McLean, VA - Candy
19 - Mars, Jacqueline - 10,000 - 66 - Bedminster, NJ - Candy
19 - Mars, John Franklyn - 10,000 - 69 - Arlington, VA - Candy
23 - Kluge, John Werner - 9,000 - 91 - Palm Beach, FL - Metromedia
24 - Icahn, Carl - 8,500 - 69 - New York, NY - Leveraged buyouts
25 - Redstone, Sumner M - 8,400 - 82 - Beverly Hills, CA - Viacom
26 - Newhouse, Donald Edward - 7,500 - 75 - Somerset County, NJ - Publishing
26 - Newhouse, Samuel Irving Jr - 7,500 - 77 - New York, NY - Publishing
28 - Anschutz, Philip F - 7,200 - 65 - Denver, CO - Investments
28 - Soros, George - 7,200 - 75 - New York, NY - Hedge funds
30 - Ergen, Charles - 7,100 - 52 - Denver, CO - EchoStar
31 - Knight, Philip H - 6,900 - 67 - Beaverton, OR - Nike
32 - Murdoch, Keith Rupert - 6,700 - 74 - New York, NY - News Corp
33 - Johnson, Edward Crosby III - 6,500 - 75 - Boston, MA - Fidelity
34 - Duncan, Dan L - 6,000 - 72 - Houston, TX - Energy
34 - Perelman, Ronald Owen - 6,000 - 62 - New York, NY - Leveraged buyouts
34 - Taylor, Jack Crawford - 6,000 - 83 - St Louis, MO - Enterprise Rent-A-Car
37 - Arison, Micky - 5,800 - 56 - Bal Harbour, FL - Carnival Cruises
38 - Bren, Donald L - 5,700 - 73 - Newport Beach, CA - Real estate
39 - Broad, Eli - 5,500 - 72 - Los Angeles, CA - Investments
40 - Bloomberg, Michael Rubens - 5,100 - 63 - New York, NY - Bloomberg L.P.
41 - Menard, John R Jr - 5,000 - 65 - Eau Claire, WI - Home improvement stores
42 - Bezos, Jeffrey P - 4,800 - 41 - Seattle, WA - Amazon
42 - Rowling, Robert - 4,800 - 52 - Dallas, TX - Oil & gas, hotels, investments
44 - Moore, Gordon Earle - 4,600 76 Woodside, CA - Intel
45 - Geffen, David - 4,500 - 62 - Malibu, CA - DreamWorks
45 - Kaiser, George B - 4,500 - 63 - Tulsa, OK - Oil & gas, banking, real estate
45 - Koch, Charles De Ganahl - 4,500 69 Wichita, KS - Oil, commodities
45 - Koch, David Hamilton - 4,500 - 65 - Wichita, KS - Oil, commodities
49 - Warner, H Ty - 4,400 - 61 - Chicago, IL - Beanie Babies
50 - Perot, Henry Ross - 4,200 - 75 - Dallas, TX - Computer services, real estate

and here are the also rans from Forbes list of the 400 wealthiest Americans:

375 - Sillerman, Robert FX - 975 - 57 - New York, NY - Entertainment
377 - Stewart, Martha - 970 - 64 - Bedford, NY - Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia
378 - Bisciotti, Stephen J - 960 - 45 - Severna Park, MD - Outsourcing, football
379 - Pasculano, Lynne & family - 950 - 64 - New York, NY - Auto parts, candy
379 - Watkins, Edward G III - 950 - 69 - Concord, MA - Security systems
381 - Burrell, Gary L - 940 - 68 - Stilwell, KS - Navigation equipment
382 - McCaw, Bruce R - 925 - 58 - Seattle, WA - McCaw Cellular
382 - Rizzuto, Leandro P - 925 - 67 - Sheridan, WY - Conair
384 - Anselmo, Mary - 900 - 76 - Greenwich, CT - PanAmSat
384 - Bowes, William - 900 - 79 - San Francisco, CA - Venture capital
384 - Case, Stephen M - 900 - 47 - McLean, VA - AOL
384 - Cathy, S Truett - 900 - 84 - Atlanta, GA - Chick-fil-A
384 - Cayne, James - 900 - 71 - New York, NY - Bear Stearns
384 - Connell, Grover - 900 - 87 - Westfield, NJ - Real estate, heavy equipment
384 - Forstmann, Theodore - 900 - 65 - New York, NY - Leveraged buyouts
384 - Gilbert, Daniel - 900 - 43 - Livonia, MI - Quicken Loans
384 - Glazer, Guilford - 900 - 84 - Beverly Hills, CA - Shopping malls
384 - Magness, Gary - 900 - 51 - Denver, CO - Inheritance
384 - Mandelbaum, David & family - 900 - 69 - Livingston, NJ - Real estate
384 - Mansueto, Joseph D - 900 - 49 - Chicago, IL - Morningstar
384 - McCaw, John Elroy Jr - 900 - 54 - Seattle, WA - McCaw Cellular
384 - Oates, Marvin L "Buzz" - 900 - 82 - Sacramento, CA - Real estate
384 - Osher, Bernard A - 900 - 78 - San Francisco, CA - Banking, investments
384 - Robertson, Julian H Jr - 900 - 73 - New York, NY - Money management, wine
384 - Shorenstein, Walter Herbert - 900 - 90 - San Francisco, CA - Real estate

Posted by Rick | January 18, 2006 05:00 PM | Social Studies

John McCain's Crazy Values

This past weekend Senator John McCain (R-AZ) indicated that the killing of innocent people in wartime was regrettable but sometimes unavoidable. On CBS' Face The Nation January 15, 2006, Senator McCain had this to say:

"It's terrible when innocent people are killed. We regret that, but we have to do what we think is necessary to take out al quaeda, particularly the top operatives."

I understand that...

but this is the same Senator who just initiated the new strict anti-torture law which prohibits cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of detainees in U.S. custody, even illegal combatants captured on the battlefield.

So Senator McCain thinks it's OK to kill innocent civilians caught up in a war, but it's not OK to inflict a little pain or humiliation on people who were trying to kill us in order to gain important information that might save American lives?

This makes it official...John McCain is an idiot.

Posted by Rick | January 18, 2006 02:07 AM | Political Science

January 17, 2006

It Must Be Something In The Water

New Orleans' Mayor Ray Nagin must be drinking the same water that television evangelist Pat Robertson is drinking.

By now, it is common knowledge that on January 5, 2006, Pat Robertson said that God was angry at Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon because he had abandoned some of the settlements in the Gaza Strip and that Sharon's stroke was some form of divine retribution.

Yesterday in a speech honoring Martin Luther King, the 'honorable' Mayor Nagin proclaimed that God was angry with the United States for going to war with Iraq and was sending the hurricanes to punish us. In additional comments, he proclaimed that after the reconstruction of New Orleans, it would once again be a 'chocolate' city. What is in that water anyway?

Posted by Rick | January 17, 2006 04:03 PM | Social Studies

January 16, 2006

Martin Luther King Jr. - Happy Birthday

Today as some of the country took the day off in honor of Martin Luther King Jr., I doubt that the black community took much time to truly reflect on the status of their community. The black community hasn't reflected on much or accomplished much since King's "I have a dream..." speech over 40 years ago. They have been too busy squandering the wealth of entitlements given to them.

If Martin Luther King Jr. were alive today he couldn't help but be embarrassed by the illiteracy, the out-of-wedlock births, the drugs, the gangs, the crime, the gangster rap, the poverty and the unemployment in the black community. After 40 years of busing, affirmative action (reverse discrimination), after-school programs, job training, low income housing, and every law imaginable to protect the rights of the black community, they are arguably worse off now than they were when MLK was alive.

Black community leaders like shake-down artist Jesse Louis Burns (AKA the 'Reverend' Jesse Jackson), the 'Reverend' Alfred Sharpton Jr., the Nation of Islam's Louis Eugene Walcott (AKA 'Minister' Louis Farrakhan, AKA Calypso Louie), and former President and Chief Executive Officer of the NAACP Frizzell Gray (AKA Kweisi Mfume) call themselves by fancy names, wear fancy suits and line their pockets from the sweat of the black underclass they supposedly serve. They have done little to lead their community out of the darkness.

It's time the black community looks to itself for answers, past their so-called leaders. Unfortunately, when a voice of reason from within the black community like Bill Cosby or Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas speaks up, he is condemned as being an 'Uncle Tom' or worse.

In 2004, it is estimated that over 85% of blacks that voted cast their ballot for the Democratic candidate, John Kerry. Unfortunately, it is the Democratic Party that continues to divide the country with their class warfare mantra.

The black community needs to forget about what it thinks it is owed. The marketplace will provide for anyone willing to take advantage of the opportunities afforded all Americans who are willing to apply themselves in school and work hard when they get out of school.

Study hard and work hard...make Martin Luther King Jr. proud!

Posted by Rick | January 16, 2006 08:51 PM | Social Studies

January 6, 2006

American Heros...Everyone

Check out this slide show honoring our fantastic military created by Todd Clegg at GCS Distributing.

Tip of the hat to Guia Lathrop for the link.

Posted by Rick | January 6, 2006 12:05 AM | Just A Thought

January 4, 2006

Texas Longhorns - NCAA Football Champions!

In what was a very exciting national championship football game, the Texas Longhorns and especially quarterback Vince Young were just too much for the USC Trojans to handle.

Congratulations to the Texas Longhorns football team who won 41-38 and snapped the Trojans 34 game win streak in the process!

Posted by Rick | January 4, 2006 09:59 PM | Just A Thought

Governor Blanco Is Clueless

With red ink in the Louisiana state budget flowing like water from a broken levee, Governor Kathleen Blanco is continuing to display the questionable judgment she used in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

At a cost of 'only' $564,838, Governor Blanco has just finished remodeling 3 floors of the Louisiana State House. While all three floors that the governor and her staff occupy were upgraded, the 6th floor, which will not be accessible to the public, was redesigned to add three new offices, a conference room and file storage areas upgrades at a cost of nearly $300,000. Other upgrades included hookups and mounts for two flat screen televisions, Swedish granite countertops, walnut paneling and frosted laminated glass. A bathroom was added to the 5th floor and all areas received new carpet.

I submit to you that not another penny should be given for the reconstruction of Louisiana until Governor Blanco resigns or is recalled.

If you have a desire to donate to Hurricane Katrina victims, the seemingly forgotten states of Mississippi, Alabama and Florida still need plenty of help. Donations made through the Salvation Army can be directed by you to the area you wish to help.

Posted by Rick | January 4, 2006 03:49 PM | Political Science

January 1, 2006

'Twas The Season For Football

1) After two days of almost non-stop football viewing, and listening to announcers with many different styles, I began to wonder tonight who annoyed me more as an announcer, Paul Maguire or Dan Dierdorf.

After much reflection and a coin flip, I decided that Dierdorf was more annoying.

2) Minnesota Vikings' coach Mike Tice was fired an hour after the Vikings beat a Chicago Bears team 34-10 yesterday. (In fairness to the Bears, it should be noted that they were resting most of their regulars.)

The Vikings' victory capped a miraculous 9 victory, 7 loss season that began 2-5. What made the winning season even more miraculous was the fact that the Vikings traded their premier wide receiver, Randy Moss, to Oakland in the off season; the team had a number of players involved in a scandalous house boat party during their bye week; and had their starting quarterback, Daunte Culpepper, go down with a season ending injury during their seventh game. Seems that Tice did a pretty good job coming back from all the adversity to win nine games.

3) Somebody should tell retiring Kansas City coach, Dick Vermeil, there is no crying in football.

3) USC will win the Rose Bowl by a score of 35-24 Wednesday. Texas is really good. USC is better. It must be noted that my lovely wife, and UT alum, strongly disagrees with my prediction. I also predict she will lose $100 Wednesday night.

Posted by Rick | January 1, 2006 11:42 PM | Just A Thought

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