Friday, March 30, 2007

Killing off the American Dream

Circuit City has announced it will fire 3,400 employees - actually the news release said "lay off" but that is a misuse of the English language, since none of the "laid off" workers will be rehired unless they are willing to work for less money.
Circuit City Stores' (CC) decision to lay off 3,400 employees in order to hire lower-paid replacements is raising questions about the impact of severe cost-cutting on employee morale.

The consumer electronics retailer announced Wednesday that it was immediately firing store associates "who were paid well above the market-based salary range for their role." New workers will be paid less, although Circuit City did not reveal the pay of the workers.

Analyst Penelope Trunk, author of "Brazen Careerist: The New Rules for Success," obviously was a bit rattled by this corporate move.

"People left behind are probably thinking they don't have a future there," Trunk says.

Ya think?

Glad we don't work there. You have to wonder if the Circuit City brass got envious of the meat packers, et al, who have reduced payroll costs by employing, er, we shall politely say "newcomers."

It's said often that the latest generation of Americans is emerging from high school and college knowing full well that their lives will probably not be as economically successful as their parents. It is first generation in our nation's history that this is true, and it has happened because the average American is caught in a vise between ever expanding regulations, laws and government, and a business model that has freed itself from old-fashion notions of responsibility to the help.

There was a time when Americans would protest this sort of economic injustice. We doubt whether many people will even hear about Circuit City's grand dis-incentive program, and fewer still will be motivated to do anything about it.

We have, indeed, become Sheeple.

However, the Oklahomilist is willing to be the point man in a Ghandi-esque crusade against Circuit City. I hereby vow to buy nothing - absolutely zero, zilch, nada - from that company from today onward until such time as they reinstate the fired workers and abandon this heartless (and can we add psychologically ignorant?) payroll policy. The beauty of this crusade is that it is perfectly suited to modern-day Americans. We don't have to get up off of our lazy duffs to do anything. In other words, we tell Circuit City: "We won't stand for it."

Surely this is one time when Americans of any political or religious persuasion can agree: Circuit City deserves punishment.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A U.S. senator takes a strong gun stand - and lets his staffer twist in the wind

With every new statement U.S. Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia makes about the arrest of his staffer, Phillip Thompson, for attempting Monday to bring a briefcase containing a loaded revolver into the Russell Senate office building, he loses credibility and less - not more - light is shed on the incident.

Suggestion to Sen. Webb: When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.

The initial news reports said that Thompson, 45, and by all accounts a good guy, was given the unregistered gun by Webb after driving the senator to the airport to catch a flight to New Orleans, despite the fact that Thompson was not licensed to carry a weapon. Thompson said he put the loaded weapon, and two filled ammo clips, in the briefcase, then forgot he had done so.

He's been charged with one felony count of carrying a pistol without a license.

Of course, media people wanted to know if Webb, once a Republican and Ronald Reagan's Navy secretary, was in the habit of carrying a weapon as a member of congress. Webb, seemingly wishing to burnish his Second Amendment credentials while at the same time distancing himself from Thompson's plight, had this to say Tuesday:
“I have never carried a gun in the Capitol complex and I did not give the weapon to Phillip Thompson, and that’s all that I think I’ll say,” Webb told reporters.
Famous last words. Webb went on to add that he could not go into too many specifics because a criminal matter was involved. He also said that he flew to New Orleans on Friday, not Monday. Then he added:
“Everyone here knows that I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, that I have had a permit to carry a weapon in Virginia for a long time, and I believe that it’s important — it’s important for me, personally, and for a lot of people in the situation that I’m in, to be able to defend myself and my family.”
And what is that special situation?

Well, he's a congressman, of course.

Webb pointed out that police are assigned to protect the president and other high-ranking executive-branch officials but not members of Congress.

"We are required to defend ourselves, and I chose to do so," he said.

His defensive efforts certainly seem not to include his loyal staffer. Poor Mr. Thompson.

By Wednesday Webb's office was telling reporters, on background of course, that not only did the senator not give Thompson the gun, the gun did not belong to Webb. But there were also other senate staffers privately scoffing at Webb's account that had him flying to New Orleans on Friday, not Monday.

Stranger and stranger.

As sure as day follows night, national political analysts,more concerned with how the incident will affect Sen. Webb's re-election chances (five years down the road), came running to his defense:
Although Thompson faces a potential prison sentence, the political consequences for Webb might not be so severe, analysts said Tuesday. The incident could solidify his standing with voters in Virginia, particularly rural parts of the state, they said.

``Having a gun is not a liability in this state for a politician,'' said Mark Rozell, a politics professor at George Mason University. ``The fact that he carries a concealed weapon confirms his credentials with gun owners.''
Perhaps, but perhaps not. Jim Webb is not coming across as a stand up guy, and traditional gun owners may not like the fact that he seems willing to let Thompson twist in the wind than admit that he have played a role in his aide's legal troubles.

If you went hunting -- or to war -- with Senator Webb, would he have your back, or would it be every man for himself?

Monday, March 26, 2007

The North American Parliament - Coming soon to a once proud, free people?

Could be the Reconquista folks, even if they are successful, are going to be just as disappointed as the Oklahomilist if the North American Unionists continue their operation.

Courtesy of our friend George Ure of, a link to Accuracy in Media's (AIM) coverage last Thursday of a recent conference to which you, and we, did not receive an invitation. The article is called, "The Coming North American Parliament."

The opening paragraphs got our attention:

Robert Pastor, a top Democratic Party foreign policy specialist associated with the Panama Canal giveaway, denies that he is at the center of a "vast conspiracy" to subvert American sovereignty under the cover of establishing a "North American Union." He calls the charges "absurd."

But Pastor, a former official of the Carter Administration and adviser to President Clinton, made those remarks at an all-day February 16 conference devoted to the development of a North American legal system. The holding of the conference was itself evidence that a comprehensive process is underway to merge the economies, and perhaps the social and political systems, of the three countries.

AIM is trying to raise awareness among the rank-and-file in this country of what is taking place. Some other excerpts:

Academic literature distributed in advance to conference participants about a common legal framework for the U.S., Canada and Mexico included proposals for a North American Court of Justice (with the authority to overrule a decision of the U.S. Supreme Court), a North American Trade Tribunal, a North American Court of Justice, and a Charter of Fundamental Human Rights for North America, also dubbed the North American Social Charter.

Under the latter concept, according to Laura Spitz of the University of Colorado Law School, North Americans might be able to enjoy "new rights" essential to "human flourishing" such as gay marriage. She argues in one paper that U.S. economic integration with Canada will make it nearly impossible for the United States not to recognize same-sex marriage so long as it is lawful in Canada.
Or try this:
... Pastor has a "Vision of a North American Parliament" and a step-by-step process to create it.
One speaker, Stephen Zamora of the University of Houston Law School, denounced the idea of a wall separating Mexico and the U.S., in order to control illegal immigration, asking, "What does citizenship mean anymore?" He expressed pleasant surprise when a Mexican in the audience said she had dual citizenship in Mexico and the U.S. Later, he said he was just as concerned about people living in Mexico as people living in the U.S.
There's a lot more, and when you have a moment, read the whole thing.

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A few observations on immigration after a wild weekend in LA - and Tulsa!

A few observations on the immigration demonstrations held Sunday in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, to 5,000 at a support march for immigrant rights:
"We are saying that in this great and generous America, there ought to be a pathway to citizenship."
Such a pathway already exists. It is called the process of naturalization as adjudicated through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. USCIS even has a web site that makes it super easy for anyone to legally find their way into the country.

Millions have chosen to break the law rather than follow the rules, and pandering politicians like Villaraigosa (and let's be fair, George W. Bush) would encourage more of this behavior by rewarding it.

Here's an interesting quote from the LA Times:
Lidia Vidal, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico who also participated in last year's marches, said she was disappointed that more people did not turn out. She also expressed frustration that even though there were gains by the immigrant rights movement, reform legislation still had not passed.

"We marched, we voted and nothing," said Vidal, 34, who has two U.S.-born children and has been here 17 years. "I still don't have papers."
'We voted"? Does she mean she actually voted in the 2006 elections? If so, how? No, we are not naive enough to think that illegal votes are cast. We just wonder why the LA Times didn't think it worthy of comment. Is it that prevalent? If so, we have already lost California.

In the left-leaning International Herald Tribune of London, a typical quote we've come to expect:
Jefferson Azevedo, a Brazilian immigrant, said he did not consider any immigrant to be illegal.

"We all know this is Mexican land," he said. "They didn't cross the border. The border crossed them."
Sorry but courts, not law-breakers, get to interpret laws. Mr. Azevedo is using the language of the Reconquista movement.

History declares Mexico to have lost not only California in the Bear Flag rebellion of 1846, but other territories with the conclusion of the American-Mexican war in 1848. Since U.S. troops actually took possession of Mexico City to end that war, Mexico is fortunate that U.S. perception of Manifest Destiny did not include annexing their entire country. (Or maybe not so fortunate, but that's a whole 'nuther can of worms.)

The people of California voted themselves into the United States shortly afterward, and since one of the conclusions of the Civil War established firmly that no state gets to vote itself back out again, the only way the Reconquista can achieve its aim will be to instigate a new counter-war to drag California (and any other southwestern state) back into Mexico.

That doesn't sound like a wonderful thing.

Why is any of this relevant to you?

You need to wake up.

This morning one of the local newscasts had a report on an Hispanic male who, having been angered for some offense at a Tulsa taco stand, left for awhile but returned with an AK-47, spraying bullets left and right from the passenger window of an SUV. As of the moment police reportedly are searching for him and a Hispanic female driver. We'd include a link to this story but KFAQ has not posted one, nor can we find the report at any other traditional local news web site. Yet. (KFAQ's featured news story today is a pic of Anna Nicole Smith and the question, "What killed Anna Nicole?" What a relief to know that at least someone will carry this story for us!)

Back to the shooting report: What are the odds this Hispanic male is in the country illegally?

What business does he have with an AK-47?

Perhaps he merely believes that Mexico has a rightful claim to Oklahoma (the Mexican flag never flew over the Sooner state, which was part of the Louisiana Purchase from France. ), which means that the border moved, so why shouldn't he? Maybe he just likes to be prepared for trouble, even if he has to make it.

People, wake up.

Anna Nicole Smith is dead, may God rest her soul. None of us are in line for her millions, so can we move along now?

The invasion of the United States, however, is very much underway, and it most definitely affects you. It could even be some idiot with an AK-47 spraying bullets in a neighborhood that looks a lot like yours.

He does not need a "pathway to citizenship."

He needs his ticket punched for prison.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Waking up the Superhighway Threat

A massive construction project that will cost $184,000,000,000 (that's billion, with a B, by the way) and a half million acres of Texas land called the "Trans-Texas Corridor" is finally starting to get the attention of rank-and-file Texans.

Construction is already underway in south and central Texas where a Mexican construction firm, funded by a Spanish consortium, is hard at work building a turnpike that will become the linchpin of the TTC or, as many of us have come to call it, the NAFTA Superhighway. Perhaps an even better name is the North American Union Superhighway.

We were in Texas last summer and were perplexed that people we talked to in Austin seemed to have no idea why the turnpike was being built, and who was providing the money to build it. The massive turnpike construction, bisecting the city, seemingly is not coordinated with local traffic officials as severe traffic snarls and long lines test the patience of Austin motorists. The attitudes of locals at that time ranged from bemused to amused, with the biggest question: Who do they think will use this turnpike?

The answer to that is simple: The roadway is designed to vehicles that will be traveling from deep in Mexico to freight depots deep in the United States and Canada. It is part of a globalist plan to bypass the laws of the individual states and to grease the wheels behind the creation of a new regional superpower government in North America based on the European Union model.

It's good to see that people are waking up in Texas: The Farm Bureau is raising a campaign to sponsor legislation that would halt the development of the TTC. The superhighway plan includes using eminent domain to roll over the property rights and concerns of landowners.

It would be prudent for Oklahoma citizens to pay attention and perhaps ask legislators to take a long look at preventative measures, for the TTC will not stop at the border of Texas. The NAU Superhighway plans call for it to continue through Oklahoma, roughly along the path of I-35 and on into Kansas to Kansas City, where an international depot/customs port is planned, and which may be awarded to Mexico as an inducement to provide money for its construction.

All of this is happening thus far with virtually no public input, or in other words, no one involved really wants to know your opinion, or ours, on the type of country we want for our children and their children.

This should be reason enough to slow this thing down. We all need to talk a bit about the Superhighway, the North American Union, and whether the free citizens of the United States want any portion of either.

This is not a partisan issue per se. There are politicians of both parties at the federal level who are in favor of this. Our task is to hold our lawmakers' feet to the fire and make them admit whether they want to preserve and protect the country called the United States, and its Constitution, or whether they prefer a superstate in which our rights will be revised and perhaps limited, and not necessarily with our approval.

You won't hear about this on TV, concerned as it is with reality shows, trite "searches" for pop stars and Anna Nicole Smith. Chances are you won't read about it in the mainstream newspapers like the uber liberal Tulsa World. But the facts are out there.

Unless you start paying attention you may wake up some morning to find yourself in a new country with new neighbors and new rules of conduct, as you wind your way around a massive concrete-and-asphalt monstrosity that has divided your city or town.

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Friday, March 23, 2007

But the real question: Why did Menu Foods use Chinese wheat?

Investigators have discovered that the pet food causing the kidney failure of hundreds (perhaps more) of dogs and cats is laced with a common rat poison, aminopterin, apparently used on shipments of Chinese wheat to North America.
A source close to the investigation tells ABC News that the rodenticide, which the source says is illegal to use in the United States, was on wheat that was imported from China and used by Menu Foods in nearly 100 brands of dog and cat food.

A news conference is scheduled for this afternoon by experts in Albany, N.Y., where scientists at the state's food laboratory made the discovery a week after a massive recall of 60 million cans and pouches was issued.
No one is yet sure this is the only contaminant.

There are other questions that we have not seen raised, let alone addressed.

1. Are the Chinese using rat poison in all shipments of wheat they export?

2. If so, what other foods - human or animal - could be affected by the imports?

3. We understand Menu Foods is a Canadian company but the plant where the bad pet food allegedly originated was in Emporia, Kansas. Consider that Kansas is a big wheat producer. For that matter, so is central Canada. The big question thus becomes: Why use Chinese wheat?

These questions need to be asked and answered, and soon. Lives could be at stake.

We live in such an inter-connected world today that our exposure risk is much greater than it once was. A rogue operation, a bad corporate player, can do great harm to a great many in a short amount of time. There is the issue of inspection of imported cargo at our seaports. There are more ways to spread mayhem among a population than simply smuggling nukes. While the pet food incident is likely the result of lax standards and a clash of cultural standards, it points to gaping holes in our inspection regimen as a country.

It also raises another question: Was Chinese wheat used because American wheat is increasingly devoted to the production of ethanol fuel?

A nation that is neither self-sufficient in energy nor food will find itself suffering the hazards and indignities of an international beggar with little control over the results.

AN AFTERTHOUGHT - Will all those hot-shot trial attorneys foaming at the mouth to be the first to file tort actions in this pet food tragedy please shut the hell up for a day or two!

And where is the U.S. Department of Agriculture on all this?

From what we can discern, USDA has regulations governing the content and labelling of pet food, but is not required to do actual inspections. That may be changing. The principle regulator appears to be the Food and Drug Administration, plus each of the various states has its own regulatory scheme.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

It's morning in America for John McCain

The senior senator - or is it El Senor Senator? - from Arizona on Wednesday alerted the Cuban-American community in Little Havana that the Socialists are Coming!

The Arizona senator said that "everyone should understand the connections" between [Hugo] Chavez, [Evo] Morales and communist Cuban President Fidel Castro.

"They inspire each other. They assist each other. They get ideas from each other," McCain said. "It's very disturbing."

With all due respect to McCain, who spent several years in a Hanoi hell-hole as a prisoner of war, his audience and a good portion of Americans in general, already understand that socialism is not only not dead but threatens once again in the Americas. This includes the United States, and Senator McCain's efforts at campaign finance reform limiting free speech and his support of national health care, plus his squishy record on immigration controls, hasn't helped curb the incursion.

Sometimes we wonder if certain members of Congress and the executive branch are executing strategy of "pre-emptive socialism," sort of a wrong-headed political and economic version of what the Russians did to Napoleon as he marched toward Moscow. The Russians torched their cities and thus removed anything of value that the French conqueror could use. Only in this strategy America would deprive itself of its economy, its standard of living, its way of life so that we would become less attractive to foreigners as a target of conquest?

This would explain the popular "blame America first" theme of everything from the antiwar sentimentalists to the Global Warming fear-mongers who insist that we systematically eliminate hydrocarbon-based fuels from our lives so that China and the rest of the world will be impressed with our sacrifice and follow suit.

There is little doubt that the Democrats will nominate a candidate for president next year who will embody much or even all of this type of thinking. It would be a terrible injustice to voters if the Republicans offer a candidate who is "Pre-emptive Socialism Lite."

There is a clear divide on the big issues in this country. War and peace. Tough border control versus amnesty-open borders. A reliance on freedom and opportunity to solve economic and social problems versus government-mandated interference. Defense of traditional values versus "everything goes."

The 2008 election should offer candidates who embody these polar opposites, not pretenders who blur the lines and hug the fence so much that it doesn't really matter who wins. Senator McCain's legislative track record does not recommend him.

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The Planet has a fever, baby!

In the interest in moving forward with solutions on the whole Global Warming impending planetary doom issue, we took special note of former Vice President Al Gore's testimony before Congress yesterday.

Gore insisted that the link [that carbon dioxide emissions cause rising global temperatures] is beyond dispute and is the source of broad agreement in the scientific community.

"The planet has a fever," Gore said.

And if your baby has a fever, said Gore, you go to the doctor.

And if your doctor is Christopher Walken, what will he prescribe?

More cowbell.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Yellowstone caldera - The power to surprise

The Journal of Geophysical Research has come up with some fascinating new findings on the Yellowstone super-volcano and the nearby Grand Teton mountains.

First, it seems the Yellowstone caldera has seen its share of ups and downs in recent years, including a 7-inch rise from 2004 to 2006. That's unprecedented, which may not mean a whole lot given the limited time that man has actually studied it, and considering that the last big eruption was 630,000 years ago. Still, geologists are cautiously wondering if the game is, er, under foot, so to speak.

The 45-by-30-mile caldera bulged and deflated significantly during the study period, resulting in a series of small earthquakes that produced 10 times more energy than would occur if the ground were to move suddenly in a large eruption.

"We think it's a combination of magma being intruded under the caldera and hot water released from the magma being pressurized because it's trapped," said lead study author Robert Smith from the University of Utah. "I don't believe this is evidence for an impending volcanic eruption, but it would be prudent to keep monitoring the volcano."

We most certainly want him to be prudent.

But there's a second aspect to their findings: the Grand Teton mountain range to the south and west of the caldera is losing height. The fault line that runs north-south is showing abnormal characteristics.

Typically, when a big earthquake takes place on a normal fault such as the Teton, the ground is pulled apart.

This kind of extension or stretching causes valleys to drop downward and mountains to rise upwards. Thousands of earthquakes over millions of years built the mountains that comprise the Teton Range today.

But recent measurements showed a different trend.

Researchers found that just the opposite is happening with Jackson Hole — the valley below the Teton. The valley is rising up slowly and the mountains are dropping down.

What the researchers think is happening, on a short-term basis at least, is that the bulging Yellowstone hotspot north of the Tetons is pushing against the north edge of Jackson Hole and jamming it against the mountains.

(This is also causing the southwest part of the Yellowstone plateau, under the hotspot, to slide downhill at a rate of one-sixth of an inch each year.)

"The textbook model for a normal fault is not what's happening at the Teton fault," Smith said. "The mountains are going down relative to the valley going up. That's a total surprise."

Scientists think it means bigger quakes in the future. No one is saying "the Big One" because no one wants to sound crazy, and that's understandable. The Big One could take place anytime between tomorrow and 100,000 years from now. Still ...

Not that it matters much, but we do not care for the phrase "that's a total surprise" when it is associated with a super-volcano that has the capability of ruining a perfectly good day for two-thirds of America, not to mention our Canadian neighbors. It could cause less secure minds to worry senselessly.

Which is why we thought we'd quote a bit of scripture to provide you with some comfort, a portion of Isaiah that seems especially appropriate:

A voice cries out: In the desert prepare the way of the Lord! Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God! Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill shall be made low; The rugged land shall be made a plain, the rough country, a broad valley. Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all mankind shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken. (Is. 40:3-5)

Prosecute Howard Dean!

Howard Dean admits he's been in high level talks with leaders of foreign governments to "repair the damage" inflicted by the Bush administration.

Here's a small slice of an hour-long interview with the chairman of the Democrat National Committee, explaining his rationale:
"I want to make clear that there is an opposition in America and that we are ready to take power and that when we do, we are going to have much better relationships with them."
The phrasing of his remark is chilling. It may also be unfortunate for Mr. Dean.

Federal law prohibits any citizen from diplomatic talks with leaders of foreign governments. The relevant language (properly purloined from the Llamas), reads as follows:
Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both. This section shall not abridge the right of a citizen to apply, himself or his agent, to any foreign government or the agents thereof for redress of any injury which he may have sustained from such government or any of its agents or subjects.
Steve-O quite naturally wants to know if Attorney General Alberto Gonzales plan to prosecute Dean or ...
"... does Howard fit under the "don't prosecute high-level Donks like Sandy Berger" clause to your mission statement?"
We wouldn't give Howard Dean permission to pick up our pizza order at Mazzio's, let alone let him run his mouth amuck with our friends and/or enemies in the world. The man has yet to demonstrate the capacity for long-term rational thought.

Just maybe, if enough people clamor for it, the Bush administration might actually defend the Constitution by forcing "the opposition," so ready to "take power," to obey the law!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

When common sense is stood on its head

Would someone please explain the new rules of good neighborliness to our Border Patrol so that they know what to do?

A brush fire breaks on the U.S. side of the border in Arizona, somewhere south of Sonoita. It is heading south across the border. Border Patrol agents work to control and extinguish the fire but it crosses into Mexico. Admittedly there isn't much on the other side, except more brush, but the agents are in "hot pursuit" - so to speak - and continue battling the blaze so that it does not run unchecked through the Mexican countryside. Once the fire was out, they returned to the U.S. side.

What do you get for being a good neighbor?
MEXICO CITY - Mexico has sent a diplomatic note to the United States objecting to an alleged incursion into Mexican territory by U.S. Border Patrol agents in Arizona trying to extinguish a fire, the country's Foreign Relations Department said Tuesday.
"The Foreign Relations Department has expressed to the U.S. Embassy via a diplomatic note, its rejection of the incursion," the Mexican government's news release said.
We apologized, of course. A pity. You wonder what diplomatic note would have issued had we let the fire run its course.

Which is what we recommend should it happen again.

They'll be back when it warms a bit

You may have already heard that two women explorers who were trekking through the Arctic to expose the reality of global warming had to turn back after one of the two experienced extreme frostbite on her foot. The cold weather overwhelmed their little expedition with temperatures 58 degrees below zero inside their tent. Outside temps were 100 below and worse.

But lest you get the impression that perhaps the research project members were rethinking their devotion to the global warming cause, consider what expedition organizer Ann Atwood concluded:

Atwood said there was some irony that a trip to call attention to global warming was scuttled in part by extreme cold temperatures.

"They were experiencing temperatures that weren't expected with global warming," Atwood said. "But one of the things we see with global warming is unpredictability."

How utterly convenient! If it's warm, it's global warming. And if it's cold, it's the reliable, comforting unpredictability of global warming.

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Monday, March 12, 2007

A very belated review of the Moodys' concert

We have been horribly remiss in not posting on the results of the Moody Blues concert in Tulsa twelve evenings ago. Almost immediately afterward the Oklahomilist was called to work a "special project" that ended last Friday, leaving little time and almost no extra energy.

Simply, it was incredible. So much better than the 1987 concert we attended. The Brady Theatre is a better venue, for one, but since that concert 20 years ago, the Moodies have learned a few things about recreating their lush, studio sound onstage. After seeing them the other night, we re-watched their 1990s DVD at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Denver, and realized that they have improved on their live chops since then. The Tulsa event was very close to equaling the quality of their marvelous Hall of Fame DVD at London's Royal Albert Hall.

The capacity crowd responded warmly to Justin, John and Graeme and their talented group of backing musicians who displayed a virtuosity not often seen on stage these days. Especially standout was Norda, a lovely musician-singer who plays flute, guitar, harmonica and, of course, killer tambourine. (Sadly I have forgotten her last name. Were I much younger and single, I could see making it my life's ambition to seek her out. Alas.) I do not wish to slight the other singer who recently joined the tour. The same for the other musicians. Great bunch.

It was good to see Graeme so animated and spot-on with his drumming. It looks like he's stepped his game up a notch. John was in fine voice and as ever the showman. Justin was Justin: no superlative is quite enough. He remains the Oklahomilist's favorite musician-songwriter of all time.

We ran into several friends at the concert, and all of us were laughing at the widespread demographic - everything from aging hippies in their late 60s (who knew they'd live so long?) to people more in the middle years, and then young stalwarts like our two sons and their entourage. We were happy to hear them tell us that it was the best concert they had ever seen.

No surprise to us.

The set list we posted was correct except that the Moodies added "Lean on Me" from the Keys to the Kingdom album (1991).

1. Lovely to See You
2. Tuesday Afternoon
3. Lean on Me (Tonight)
4. Never Comes the Day
5. Slide Zone
6. The Voice
7. One More Time to Live
8. I Know You're Out There Somewhere
9. Story In Your Eyes
10. Wildest Dreams
11. Isn't Life Strange
12. The Other Side of Life
13. December Snow
14. Higher and Higher
15. Are You Sitting Comfortably
16. Singer in a Rock and Roll Band
17. Nights in White Satin
18. Question
19. Ride My See-Saw (The Encore)

We could be picky and complain that there were a number of tunes that should have been played for a complete representative sample of Moody Blues discography ("English Sunset" comes most quickly to mind), but the truth of the matter is that a great representative sample was presented, and some of us would never be completely satisfied unless the band stayed several days and played everything. That's not very realistic, but it's a great dream.

So thanks, guys, for dropping by our little corner of the world. It was lovely to see you again, indeed!

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A Brit calls for New World Order environmentalism

It is most definitely a Monday.
LONDON (AFP) - Gordon Brown, likely to be the next prime minister, will deliver a speech calling for a "new world order" to combat global warming on Monday.
He wants the United Nations to make this Job One, following the lead of the European Union. The probable next prime minister of Great Britain says he prefers "incentives" to get people to conserve energy, but he doesn't rule out the use of penalties.

Do the British people really want a prime minister who wants to give English sovereignity away to unelected bureaucrats in New York and Brussels?

No extra money for Hamas

"Nobody is suffering more than the Palestinian people." - Barack Hussein Obama, quoted today in the Des Moines Register.

Perhaps so. But they can blame Hamas and Hezbollah for their woes. While Mr. Obama would solve the problem by doing away with restrictions on "giving" to the Palestinians, persons within the Palestinian parliament admit that since Hamas took over their government all controls over foreign aid have broken down and millions of dollars are missing.

Giving the Palestinians more aid, funneled as it must be through governments, will not solve the problem nor will it provide Israel with a more stable neighbor. Hamas is a terrorist organization masquerading as a political entity (nothing new there), closely allied with Hezbollah, a multi-national terrorist organization funded and aligned with Iran.

Would someone please inform Mr. Obama?