Saturday, April 28, 2007

Don LaFontaine: A Genuine Hollywood Legend

You've certainly heard the voice and lately it seems you may have seen the legend as well. Forever known as the orator of that ominous introduction, "In a world....." or "In a time.....", Don LaFontaine's presence certainly ingrains itself within the world of Hollywood mystique. If ever you entered a theater or turned on the television, the odds are that Don LaFontaine has spoken to you with that booming baritone. To date I've seen Don's early morning appearances on The Early Show, Today, and Good Morning America doing humorous sketches that highlight his amazing vocal abilities. In 2007 he appeared twice on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and was an integral part of the Academy Awards. His talent on screen infuses itself with Don's unique and sonorous voice . Most famous for his 5000 voice spots on movie trailers like The Godfather, Cast Away, Daddy Day Care, and Terminator, he also provides spots for radio and television advertisements. Don LaFontaine is perhaps one of the individuals most responsible for revolutionizing the way Hollywood and the major studios promote themselves and their movies. In fact, Don may in no small way be responsible for the way we see the advertising world as a whole in modern times. Not bad for a boy from Duluth, Minnesota.

Don headed the film trailer company Kaleidoscope Films and later became the "voice" of Paramount in 1978. After succeeding with these endeavors people in the entertainment business encouraged him to more aggressively pursue a career utilizing his vocal skills. The rest is as they say, history. I admired Don's unique gift for years but never managed to get a glimpse of the man behind the voice. Recently the popular and well-received Geico Insurance commercials hit the airwaves and I saw the commercial featuring Don. My curiosity spurred me to search for information about Mr. LaFontaine on the web. I found Don's website, read about his life and accomplishments, and thought I should make an attempt to contact him. Usually when trying to contact a famous figure one is lucky to find any contact information at all. Not only did I contact Don through e-mail, he graciously returned my correspondence with a personal e-mail. That means a lot in this day in age when actors and entertainers in the spotlight find it all too convenient to disavow the fan bases that make the entertainment industry the multi-billion dollar powerhouse it is today.

Of course I've printed his emails and stretched the truth to family and friends letting them believe Don and I are old pals. I've literally pulled people and family members from the street and quiet slumber when a LaFontaine piece airs. I tell them with excited enthusiasm, "Hey, I know that guy, that's Don LaFontaine!" I maintain that having a Hollywood connection must be kept secret as I wouldn't want the information contained in my secret meetings with him to become public. If I keep up the ruse long enough perhaps I'll convince myself that I am a successful person in Hollywood just like him, at least until the power company shuts my lights off. And Don just so you know, I spend time practicing my own version of "In a world" but up to this point my rendition sounds more like a distressed gopher's yelps while being squeezed in the clutches of an industrial vise. I wouldn't consider me competition just yet! I would however appreciate a phone call sometime that I can record and play for friends at parties. Besides being a great thrill, it would further propagate my "I'm famous because I hang with Don LaFontaine theory" I am working on. But then I'd have to worry about his invoice for providing such a service and I am not quite ready to take out a second mortgage on the house. However, if Don ever finds reason to travel to Billings, MT I will be shocked and offended if he doesn't contact me!

In summation I penned this tribute to Mr. LaFontaine because he is a Hollywood legend. His contributions to the world of entertainment are too substantial and lofty to be properly detailed in this article. We go to the movies or watch particular programs to escape or to feel that nostalgic tie to our own unique set of dreams and fantasies. Don's voice carries us there. He is the conduit that transports us from our seats and into the screen and beyond. His words and mesmerizing tones make our hearts race and thoughts dance as we enter that world of Hollywood movie magic. Don, thank you for your contributions and I wish you and your lovely wife Nita Whitaker all the best.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Drive At Your Own Risk: Southern California Freeways

I have few positive things to say about traveling and specifically driving in southern California. Last Friday I found myself loading up on acid reflux medication as I crossed the deserted border south of Las Vegas and entered the foreboding wasteland near Death Valley on the stretch of I-15 that passes through Baker, CA. My destination of Irwindale, CA seemed a reachable mark by 10:00 local time if no difficulties thrust themselves upon me. Of course my memory recalls the distinct sound of someone knocking on a wooden structure and the malaise began just south of Victorville near the junction of I-15 and 395. Apparently an overturned truck south of the weigh station near the bottom of El Cajon Pass blocked all lanes of the southbound I-15 interstate. Tragically I believe at least two motorists lost their lives in the messy collision. I know nothing of the accident's circumstances but obviously one wrong move by a car or truck caused an immediate and catastrophic reaction that ended in grisly fashion. There seems absolutely no margin for error in the congested and overcrowded world of the L.A. and southern California freeway system.
I slowed to a stop as a frenzy of red brake lights hinted at the beginning of a frustrating and delayed commute. Three and sometimes four lanes of stalled traffic inched along at a snail's pace; frustrated faces peered out windows and into mirrors trying in vain to ascertain the cause of such a mind numbing and costly shutdown. The report from a traffic observer flying effortlessly overhead in a news helicopter confirmed my darkest fears. A fatality accident involving the overturned semi-truck lay silently wreaking havoc some 12 miles in front of me. Twelve miles in front of me! My appointment in the L.A. foothills now seemed quite distant and maybe unreachable during business hours. At my hastily calculated rate of movement, I determined my estimated time of arrival to be a much later 3:00 pm. The hapless drivers started their predictable movements of nonsense. Change lanes and change lanes again even though your spot stays the same regardless of which lane is chosen. Drivers begin speeding down the shoulder of the roadway in an attempt to circumvent the wall of tractor-trailer combinations eerily creeping along. The rain and fog began to set in like a reaper intent on reducing the visibility to zero and causing even more panic and disillusion.
What seemed like hours passed as I crept along in a maze of exhaust fumes, idling metal, and brake heat. Finally I passed the weigh station near the bottom of El Cajon and knew the accident site must be somewhere in the vicinity of the Kenwood Road exit. For some unfathomable reason the California Highway Patrol added to the danger and traffic flow difficulties by requiring trucks to weigh at the scales and emerge from the ramp in the hopeless attempt of completing a successful merge. Giant cranes managed to pull what was left of the spilled big rig onto the shoulder allowing at least three of the southbound lanes to be used for the now exasperated drivers. The precipitation continued and increased as I headed past the I-215 split and visibility fell to dangerously low levels as the throngs of traffic kicked up water spray over six lanes of traffic. I thought to myself, "These people are crazy!" The rain simply poured as I merged west onto the 210 and headed towards Pasadena. The slippery roads and limited sight distance seemed only to spur the southern California drivers on. I might as well have been handling a horse and buggy instead of a modern streamlined motor vehicle. Dodging, ducking, braking, and swerving the possessed drivers attempted to gain as much forward distance in the shortest possible time regardless of the danger to others.
Because I am generally regarded as one of the unluckiest members of the planet my departure from the area happened to coincide with the beginning of the afternoon rush hour. So now I get to fight the idiots on my way out of the valley as well. I daydreamed about trading for a relaxing drive across northern Canada in a January blizzard. The rain stopped and speeds increased even more. Merging drivers expect to merge without understanding or caring that they are lawfully required to yield. Cell phones, shavers, and other unmentionable acts take place as the wayward commuters rocket home only to face the prospect of beginning the whole maddening process over on Monday.
The next day two more drivers died in nearly the same spot as the previous day's accident. A few miles north of Barstow another fatality accident finds its remnants peered at by passing drivers. There are simply too many people in a confined geographic area. The infrastructure and highway repair budgets in California appear dismal at best. The problem compounds itself with each passing day as the city and valley chokes itself off in a fit of massive overcrowding. Until the state addresses the monumental safety concerns of traffic flow and congestion, people will die in great numbers as others fly by gawking at the twisted remains only hopeful or lucky their time is not yet at hand.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Alec Baldwin Personifies Hollywood Nuttiness

Why discuss the particulars? Baldwin's unfettered and maniacal rage directed at his prepubertal daughter received national airplay at several outlets and became fodder for comedic sketches from here to Dover, Delaware. Do you remember when Baldwin nearly slid out of his skin when then House Judiciary Chairman Henry Hyde proceeded with the impeachment of Willy Clinton? Baldwin salivated over and worshipped Clinton much like the semi-retarded followers of David Koresh did at the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, TX several years ago. Not only does the American public bow in thankful anticipation to one of Baldwin's secular and frenzied left-wing political rants, we quiver in shock to find that he adheres to loon status in his personal life as well. I bet the diner where Baldwin, Sean Penn, Rosie O'Donnell, and Barbra Streisand meet for coffee and analytical comparative conspiracy theory class is awash with good times and quiet conversation. Now if we can get Tom Cruise to join in with his tin foil alien suit complete with pointed Hershey's Kiss foil hat, we have a quorum of Hollywood's most powerful and influential players. Even the mild mannered and peace loving Richard Gere finds himself with a warrant for his arrest after kissing an Indian actress in conservative India. Too bad you disavow the American way and your heritage Richard. The protections you protest and take for granted here keep you free and safe. I doubt Buddha will waddle to your rescue.
The Baldwin family mimics the Kennedy family to me. Wealth, power, and celebrity taken for granted and misused to the extreme. Baldwin's movie success (or at least past movie success) and elitist lifestyle are a gracious gift and apparently he feels no need to act responsibly either within his family circle or in front of the American public whose hard earned dollars made him rich. He complains about his ex-wife Kim Basinger's lack of coherence as a person and parent. Too bad she cannot act more responsible and sane like you Alec. Even your actor brothers find themselves inundated in petty crimes and substance abuse. Instead of counting your blessings you somehow believe that the celebrity platform equates to some sort of social legitimacy. You make Sean Penn appear as mild as a Methodist Sunday school teacher. Maybe you'll call for Robert Downey, Jr. to spearhead the war on drugs. It really seems it should be your young daughter that calls you and explodes in a tirade. At least her age and level of emotional development justifies the diatribe. I think her conversation to Alec should appear as follows:
"Dad, I love you but you are a wack job just like everyone else in my family. I have been a witness and victim to your temper and crazy verbal explosions my whole life. I make mistakes but I am growing up and learning as I go. I haven't exactly had the best examples set before me either. I think you need to spend a couple weeks at Trembling Hills and receive intense pharmaceutical interventions that I hope will bring you down to the level of at least Dennis Hopper. Why can't we just live with the gifts we've been given and give back a little, even if giving back means saying thanks and acting decent in public. I am so embarrassed by you and your actions. Mom is probably crazy too so why doesn't everyone leave the Hollywood life behind and focus on what's important like me and my growth as an intelligent and responsible human being? I know I have your DNA and there is really nothing I can do about it. So if you don't quit acting crazy I might as well start drinking and using drugs now. Then maybe we all can get along and be as goofy as outhouse rats. Bye Dad."

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Family from the "Old Country"

I had the most wonderful surprise this morning when I opened my email. I had a message from a relative of mine that lives in Norway! How wonderful! When I first looked at it I almost deleted it because I didn't recognize from who it was and I just thought it was spam. Thank God I didn't!

My relative wanted to know if I would like to correspond with her and her daughter who must be close to my age. It brought tears to my eyes to think that they were interested in the same thing that I have been for so many years. I just have never been able to get in contact with the right person that wants to keep in touch also.

Those of you that know me have all teased me a time or two over being Norwegian. Yes I am full Norwegian though American born. My grandparents on both sides came to America in the early 1900's. They were tough people and lived hard lives here on the plains of the north central area of the United States.

When my grandparents left their homeland they left knowing that they may never get to see their families or their country ever again. It is sad to think what it was like for them having to experience life in that way. We in this day and age never really think about those things as we travel around the world.

I am very excited about getting to know my new found family and await the next correspondence that I receive from them. With all the new technology available in the world today it has made this a much easier, quicker way of keeping in touch, unlike awaiting a letter from the "old country" that often took months to receive......

Signed..... Mrs. Montana Conservative

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Mystery of Ruth: Part 2

The temperature fluctuations seemed odd and proved to be anything but a figment of my imagination. The temperature analysis took place with open doors and access to regulated airflow. The recorded temperature registered 20 to 25 degrees cooler in that one room than in other rooms of the home. I compared the temperature differences between this old master bedroom and other rooms in the house within seconds of one another. Still, my psyche allowed me to feel comfortable and secure in this room. After all, my parents stayed in this room on several occassions and reported neither discomfort nor chill during any portion of their stay.

As time passed we began to notice what I considered to be an oddity with the home phone line in our house. At least every other day within 25 seconds of 9:30 pm the telephone rang, but only the phone in the kitchen. We experienced no difficulty with it at any other time. The phone line never manifested static, connectivity issues, or a lack of clearness during all the other times we used it. When the phone rang, it never put forth a full ring. It always stopped before the tone finished its resounding pulse. It seemed to me to be a quarter of one ring. Odd but probably not unheard of. These phantom rings remained in my thoughts though I found it impossible to pinpoint a scientific explanation for such an unusual occurrence. During the following days I began to follow the ticks of the clock as bedtime approached and the hands on the clock slowly wound their way towards 9:30. My heart raced and face flushed in anticipation of the nightly call made by anything but a human caller.

And then it happened. One day while I innocently sat watching a program in the TV room next to the old master bedroom, my movements were pulled through the doorway into that old bedroom. Although the room measured nearly 13 feet by 13 feet, it felt much larger with its high ceilings and large windows looking out from the room's west wall. The air in the room felt even colder than previous times and devoid of oxygen. The invisibility of the oxygen in the room suddenly seemed to take on a misty gray texture as I stood there. I felt trapped. I wanted to walk out of the room but my muscles refused to take direction from the terrorizing thoughts swimming in my head.

She stood near the window looking out as if waiting for a returning loved one or perhaps she watched a thunderstorm approach from the west. I saw her as she stood in that cold and dark envelope of shadow. Her hands were joined peaceably as her arms hung comfortably in front of her waist. Her long dress no doubt helped protect her from what was fast becoming an unbearable freeze within the confines of those four walls. Her hair sat piled high and tight on the back of her head as was common in 1911. She seemed to pay me no mind but refused to let me leave her presence either. I ingested every delicate facial feature and colors of the dress she was wearing but later recalled absolutely no detail at all. Slowly the room warmed and one small step became another and then another as I made a hasty exit from the room. I simply explained away why I felt no fear after this cold and dark encounter. I wondered why our German Sheperd always laid in that exact spot beneath the windows where I saw her.

I wonder which rooms in that old house Ruth stalks now. She lived there years ago and left earth's boundary without a final negotiation of her soul's intent. She no doubt looks down from the upper loft windows on a breezy night watching the tricker-treaters parade up and down the sidewalk during the onset of autumn. When you drive by that old house remember to look in the windows as you do. She may be returning your stare with a peaceable gaze of her own.

Monday, April 23, 2007


I just spent a few days with my little grand babies. Now I know why I had my two children when I was younger. Boy you sure find out how out of shape you are when you start packing a 23 pound, 7 month old baby around. A hot bath sounded pretty good after all that! But it was worth every minute. It was pretty special getting to spend time with them.

My grandson has been diagnosed with craniosynostosis. His case is considered severe and he needs to wear a type of headgear they call a helmet to correct this problem before he grows anymore. If this procedure works he will avoid surgery down the road. If it isn't corrected he will have problems in the future. This could lead to pressure in the brain with severe headaches, jaw problems and a drooping of one side of his face and eye. Craniosynostosis is premature fusing of 1 or more cranial sutures causing a misshapen head. So he has been measured and will be fitted with the head gear in the next week or so.

Thank God that modern medicine has found a fairly easy way to correct the problem. For now he will not have to have surgery and in a matter of months hopefully it will all be over.

He is such a happy little guy.... it is sad to think what may have happened if he wasn't diagnosed in the early stages.....

Hugs to my little grand baby....
Signed..... Mrs. Montana Conservative

Saturday, April 21, 2007

New Website

Good Morning everyone..... I am in trouble again. My hubby is gone and he told me to write something. OK... so now if you were supposed to just sit down and right something what would you write? Not so easy is it........

First of all I hope everyone has had a chance to read "The Mystery of Ruth" which was published yesterday. Part 2 will be published in a few days. It is based on some things that happend to us while living in this house a few years ago. It can be both interesting and very eerie at the same time. I hope you enjoy reading it.

Also I want to bring to everyone's attention my husband's new website. I worked very hard on this and this is my first attempt at web design. Who said you can't teach an old dog new tricks!!! Ha! I am pretty proud of how it turned out. I hope all of you check it out. If you have any good ideas that might help out let us know.

Signed..... Mrs. Montana Conservative

Friday, April 20, 2007

The Mystery of Ruth: Part 1

The house emanated traditional elegance. The 1911 structure had no doubt been constructed by one of the wealthier cattle ranchers from back east seeking their fortune near the front range of the Rocky Mountains. In those days eastern money stretched like tanned hide in the western frontier and riding the steam engines to the last wild place held much mystery and much promise.

When my wife and I purchased this home it looked from the outside as it must have through the eyes of the original architect. The interior had been remodeled to accomodate more of the modern conveniences we now take for granted but much of the old hardwood used around the doorways and as mop board remained intact from the day of its installation.

All in all the house was warm and cozy and simply exuded charm in every room. The heavy wooden front door at the entrance to the house opened into a long hallway with dark flowered carpet and 9 foot ceilings. Upon entry into the foyer the sliding doors to the parlor squeaked on their rollers. I could imagine the proper dress and serving trays with steaming tea and coffee as the rancher hosted a small dinner party, a senator, or maybe even Charlie Russell himself. A partial divide separated this living area from the dining room. The dining room housed a sitting bay window with leaded glass windows that simply remained pristine through the years and turbulent weather.

A narrow doorway connected the dining room to the modern kitchen. A short semicircle around the snack bar and cabinetry led to another doorway and short foyer that directed one to an extra bedroom at the northwest corner of the house and a bathroom straight ahead. The bathroom housed a claw foot cast iron bathtub that further contributed to the sultry ambience of the home. Next to the bathroom was a stairway that moved up and up and up to the loft that once had been used for little more than dusty storage. The previous owners remodeled the attic area and turned the whole length of it into a master suite complete with modern conveniences contained in the master bathroom. It survived as a private sanctuary for rest and relaxation with views into the expansive back yard and the tree lined street above the front entrance.

Back downstairs and through the hallway towards the front door sat what was once the master bedroom and a library or den directly to the south and abutting the front wall of the house. It was here that the old master turned into a guest room for our visitors and the library became a modern television room complete with big screen television and appropriate seating attire. It too became a place occupied on many occasions for rest, relaxation, and entertainment.

It was in this doorway between the modern den and the old master bedroom where the mystery begins and ends for reasons beyond my earthly comprehension. It is within the threshold of that doorway between the two rooms where the temperature dropped to an exasperating chill and the hair on my neck stood at attention regardless of the day or season. It was here that I first met her but never really met her at all. How can breath be felt in a room secure from any draft or breeze?

To be continued.............

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Virginia Tech Massacre: Deaths of Sensitivity

The campus of Virginia Tech shall forever be hallowed and haunted ground. On Monday, April 16, 2007, Virgina Tech English major Cho Seung-Hui slaughtered 32 college students and professors in cold blood. Hui came to this country with his parents in 1992 and possessed a green card making him a legal resident. Dorm mates, fellow students, and faculty members described the troubled young man of South Korean descent as aloof, depressed, and uninvolved in the world and activities around him. Hui did make his way into the police blotter on two occassions in 2005. One incident involved a stalking complaint made by a female student and another referral came from a roommate concerned with what can be best described as Hui's suicidal depression. The red flags waved over the campus but apparently the administration and other school officials failed or chose not to recognize the warning signs. One of the professors "informally" expressed concern over the English major's graphic and twisted writings of horrific murder and macabre violence. Two and two started to add up to four but I guess no one felt intervening in the situation matched the risk of violating Hui's civil liberties or interfering with his freedom of expression. I wonder if anybody ever thought about the potential violations and civil deprivations of the now slaughtered students and their families.

Hui left behind an 8 page note describing in detail the real culprits and sources of blame for his rampant homicide spree. Apparently the kids of wealthy heritage and Christ himself maintain culpability in Hui's eyes. One line in the eight page letter of intent stated, "You made me do this." Yes of course we did. Talk about an arrogant outlook on the fundamental social tenet of personal responsibility. I am the product of a lower middle class upbringing and if he knew me I am sure Hui just as easily would have learned to abhor my presence and thoughts as well. Let us call a spade a spade. The kid would make the cover of Psychotic Sociopath magazine each of the twelve months of publication. Freud lives or at least his theories do. Sometimes a bad seed is a bad seed regardless of cultural input. Cho Seung-Hui is like that deformed calf the rancher finds struggling to get to its feet in a snow storm. It's just too bad we can't deal with psychopaths like Hui the same way a rancher does with that calf once the deformity is clear. The importance of his maniacal existence pales in comparison to the innocents murdered by his bloody hands.

The news media still holds much fear and loathing for guns in general. BB guns may get a pass but you can believe those of us that responsibly enjoy firearms and our Second Amendment freedoms will find ourselves ducking for cover in short order. I know that Glock 19 handgun probably took on a life of its own once in Hui's hands. It simply pointed itself at those unsuspecting and innocent students and proceeded to automatically fire while Hui held on for dear life. The coverage will shift in coming days as public mourning subsides and the armies of Rosie amass for an assault on law-abiding handgun owners in America. Hui took on the personna of a cowardly murderer. The pistols used in the commission of his haneous crimes were mere tools and incidental inanimate objects. His personal writings indicated his penchant for hammers and chainsaws. Let's try not to ignorantly personify guns.
I think this tragic incident spotlights major problems in our society and criminal justice system specifically. No you cannot censor the freedom of expression. No you cannot overburden the Constitution's protections of privacy and equal protection. But therein lies the problem. I am a novelist and write about graphic murder from time to time in the context of a fictional story. But I haven't been contacted by the police twice this year for stalking. I have yet to be referred by a friend to a mental health facility out of concern for my suicidal depression. We throw blanket protections on each case failing to analyze the big picture. Each case must be analyzed while keeping all the information in perspective. You cannot jump up and say this killer cannot be investigated after all the warning signs manifested themselves prior to the murders. No, don't censor someone artistically expressing their views and even their violent views in writing. But you damn sure better violate this type of person's civil liberties if the big picture clearly shows that he or she travels a path leading to absolute death and mayhem. Will we ever bring commonsense back into our daily processes or will we continue to provide blanket coverage and protections regardless of the impending doom that hovers above us in plain view?

Monday, April 16, 2007

Duane "Dog" Chapman

Duane "Dog" Chapman better known as "Dog the Bounty Hunter" still faces possible extradition and jail time in Mexico as a result of his capture of Max Factor heir and rapist extraordinaire Andrew Luster. Apparently the popular star of A&E's "Dog the Bounty Hunter" feels that the United States government abandons him in his hour of need and I think his perceptions hold validity. Let us tell it like it is.

The condensed version goes as follows. Chapman is a bounty hunter. Chapman gets wind that pervert Luster is hiding out in Mexico with his access to millions of dollars in old family money. Luster continues to videotape his degradations of Mexican women as he feeds them knockout drugs and rapes them on camera for his own demented and sick amusement. I mean what a stud this guy is. He raped 86 women in the United States in California and has to knock them all out to score a date and a sexual interlude. Talk about the poster boy for pyschotic and psychopathic behavior and a man obviously concerned with his apparently limited male endowment.

Chapman follows tips and leads and captures Luster in Mexico with the help of members of his bounty hunting team. Those members just happen to be his son Leland and brother Tim. Before Luster gets his jumpsuit properly fitted the Mexican police have the Chapman bounty hunters in cuffs and shackles and behind bars on a misdemeanor charge that alleges an illegal detention of a scumbag like Luster. Chapman bonds, bails, or whatever it takes to get out of jail in Mexico and returns to America to hunt fugitives in Hawaii and Colorado and embarks on a successful television show. One day not long ago federal marshals show up at his door, arrest him, his son, and his brother. A United States judge ruled that there is no reason Chapman cannot be extradited to Mexico to face the original detention charges and subsequent jail time if so determined by a Mexican court or tribunal.

What in the hell is the American government thinking? It simply astounds me that this case is still haunting the Chapman family. When the Mexican government makes a request at the American consulate or state department regarding the issue of Chapman's extradition, the only response should have been one of laughter and the subsequent buzz of a disconnected phone line. Let's get this straight. This is all about Mexico flexing its muscles in a lame attempt to show that the country has any legitimacy at all.

The Mexican government is corrupt from top to bottom. Parliamentary fat cats have prospered and profited from the illegal drug trade poisoning people around the world. Mexican police and military leadership cheat their citizens by promoting a culture of corruption through the propagation of illicit drug trade and the murder and destruction that follows. The disparity in Mexico is self-induced from generations of high level corruption. If the Mexican government had an ounce of self respect they'd name a city after Chapman because he stopped Luster from raping daughters of the Mexican society. Mexico is a dead and defeated nation and our problems at the border are a direct result of the Mexican government giving up on its citizens to protect the wealthy ruling class in the elitist levels of government. The only hope for Mexico realistically is that an agreement can be hammered out in which they agree to be annexed into the United States.

As for now, Mexico couldn't manage a 7-11 much less a country and her people's economy. The Chapman situation is just a small example of how failed that nation is. The fact that the American government doesn't rush to defend a hero like Chapman only reaffirms that our country is slowly but surely following Mexico's horrendous lead.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Don Imus Cues Up the Spotlight of the Double Standard

Don Imus really stepped in it this time. It's a good thing his normal attire includes cowboy boots with a deep heel. The long time CBS radio personality whose syndicated show appeared by simulcast on MSNBC was fired as a result of racially charged comments directed at the Rutgers University women's basketball team. I think I saw him last night hovering in a corner booth at a local pub with Michael Richards. Advertisers began pulling ad space and dollars faster than you can say Rainbow Push Coalition. Al Sharpton nearly tripped over his own pompadour with the realization that his efforts bore fruit in the dismissal of Imus. To be sure, Don's remarks were both insensitive and ignorant given the standards of altruistic political correctness. Does Imus and his circle of friends usually carry on with such sardonic derision in private? You better believe it. Sharpton and Jesse Jackson successfully dine on the misery of others and acquire a well-publicized platform from which to pontificate their golden visions of who is right and who is wrong.

First of all, Don Imus should be punished for what he said and he was. Now I think Jackson, Sharpton, and apologists like Russell Simmons need to be held to the same lofty standards. Simmons and other Hollywood moguls like David Geffen (Interscope) promote through hip-hop and rap music (calling it music is a stretch) the same and often worse tenets adopted by the youth in the African-American community and white communities as well. Every rich repugnant rapper (note the alliteration) glorifies violence, promiscuity, misogynistic ideals, and filthy speech over the public airwaves. What Russell Simmons calls "artistic expression" is really little more than a rationalization for protecting his wealth earned at the expense of cultural degeneration. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have no qualms being seen with these rappers and taking the opportunity to be seen and heard with monies from the industry and advertising mediabytes created by these foul record labels.

What Don Imus said is terrifically inappropriate but less vile than what Simmon's prodigies "rap" and "bang" about over the airwaves. Don Imus gets fired for an inappropriate tongue in cheek slur but the hatred and self-destructive rappers continue to receive glorification from the leaders in the black community. Just remember granny's old saying, "What's good for the goose is good for the gander." In our case, "What's good for the goose is good for the raven."

Do you want more proof of overblown sensitivities? CBS doesn't fire Dan Rather for his liberal bias and false reporting although he later resigns over public shame. What about that quack Rosie O'Donnell? Talk about being a sandwich short of a picnic. She is about as sharp as a pound of wet liver. ABC lets her conspiracy theories receive more than ample air time as she continues to accuse the President and the United States government of plotting and carrying out the 9/11 attacks. Her defense of terrorists by comparing conservative Christians to radical Islamic terrorists is not only wrong but treasonous. Rosie doesn't even get a slap on the hand. I know she's a big girl and may slap back but her venom is just as ridiculous as any other we've heard this past week. I am so sick of "feelings being hurt" and "in what context did you apply to a given word." Get over it people and toughen up. There are bigger disasters looming on the horizon than worrying about who called whom what "offensive" name. Good Lord, how did any of these people survive grade school? I don't remember a lot of counseling back in the day.

Signed, the White Cracker.

Friday, April 06, 2007

In Memoriam: Grandma

My grandmother passed away leaving her struggles behind on Thursday, March 29, 2007 while recovering from heart surgery in our hometown's nursing home. As a family we had been living with what became the year of medical intervention. My dad received a new liver and brand new life this past November and on the very day his transplant procedure took place his mother was hospitalized and remained under medical supervision until her death a few days ago. Do you remember the old Bible verse, "The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away?" As far as I was concerned, he had some explaining to do regarding the tenet of fundamental fairness. Although Grandma struggled to regain her strength and especially the ability to take full and normal breaths, by all accounts she was well on her way to mending and regaining at least an acceptable quality of life. I got the call about 12:25 am this past Friday morning from my mom and she told me a member of the nursing staff found that Grandma peacefully slipped away shortly before midnight.

Anger manifested itself as my principle response in the days leading up to her funeral. You cannot just "pass away" without permission and certainly not without saying goodbye to me in an acceptable fashion. There were at least five or six games of pinochle and rummy left to play and more laughs about the old days and the old memories before the sun finally slipped below the horizon. I wasn't 100% sure who to blame this tragedy on but by God someone must answer for the sadness inflicted upon the family. My wife, sister, and I packed up and headed back home and joined the rest of our family in preparation for the memorial service. With honor I accepted the opportunity to be a pallbearer at her service and also speak about some memories written down on notebook paper by her grandchildren and others in the family. My cousin Jacob and I took to the podium and read the fond memories in front of the many mourners gathered at the church. About halfway through our presentation it finally hit me.

Grandma never really had an easy time of it. She and her siblings were born and survived on little or less within a landscape of desperate nothingness in what was loosely coined the Sand Creek community. Her father seemed at best to be a roustabout Irishman with a penchant for bootlegging illegal shine. He passed away very early in her life as did an older brother who died while building the Fort Peck Dam during the Great Depression. Even after marrying Grandpa and raising five kids on that dusty hill's sheep ranch in Dawson County, life remained arduous. Snowstorms, sickness, packing water in pales, outhouses on minus 30 degree mornings, milking cows, feeding sheep, wringing laundry, rattlesnakes, drought and five kids does not make a good vacation brochure.

But that is the point. Her children and their children and their children in turn were her life. The strength she possessed and the resolve to carry on even in the worst of times made her life as valuable or more valuable than any oil tycoon, President, or Nobel Prize winner. She is a part of all of us and that twinkle in her eye is the same twinkle I see in my sister's new baby. Life in this world seems no picnic but her constitution and affinity for laughter and family is the core strength passed down for the future generations in our bloodline. The struggles and heartaches come and go but we'll all be together for Christmas this year. Grandma's wisdom came from conquering adversity. Her life was good because she loved and received love in return. She never had money or material possessions but none of that mattered to her in the least. She had her priorities straight and the life lessons learned from analyzing her worldly outlook and the fond memories serves as the basis for living. Laugh in the face of turmoil and pull those close to you even closer. Argue about what is right if you must but leave with a hug and a smile. The coffee will be on when you come back.

I confidently say there is really nothing to be mad about anymore. In her last hours and minutes of peaceful sleep I see a smile pursing her lips as she dreams about the memories of her life and legacy. She watches her twins crawling around in that old farmhouse. Dad and Judy ride Scout and Comanche bareback across the vast expanse of prairie. A young LeRoy chases that old dog down past the weathered granary towards the sheep wagon parked in the tall prairie grasses. I'll miss her greatly but more than anything I need to thank her for the gifts and life lessons imparted on me. I need to learn to pass the gift on as graciously as she did for me.
Until we meet again Grandma......

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Iran: The Stone Age's Best Representative

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claims the British government and the bad Americans are arrogant for calling for a release of 15 British sailors illegally captured by Iranian forces nearly 10 days ago. Iran claims the Brits trespassed into Iranian waters but anyone with a shred of intelligence understands that in this modern era of sophisticated weaponry and finite GPS coordinates that no trespass took place.

The media really pushes or rather shoves the idea that mainstream Muslims in a country like Iran really like the American people and would like nothing more than to share a McDonalds franchise with us or perhaps engage in a festive game of cricket after attending a Billy Graham crusade. That line of liberal "hugthink" is totally off-base and if you believe it I have no doubt in my mind that we will be easily overrun by radical Muslims in the not too distant future. Iman Iwil Blowyoukar will knock on your door some cool spring morning while your finger is up your nose watching Matt Lauer tell you how much the Iranian populace embraces your way of life and Christian heritage. Have you been watching the protests taking place in Tehran at the British Embassy from the supposedly intellectual students from Tehran's university, the supposed mainstream future of the country? They are not standing there screaming and throwing rocks clamoring for the release of the British sailors. They are standing there chanting "Death to Britain" and "Death to America." On this Sunday morning, how many Americans do you see outside the embassies of Islamic states chanting "Death to Allah" and burning likenesses of Iranian leaders in effigy? What if one of the British SAS fired at one protester scaling the fence and killed him? Would Iran acknowledge the screaming ranter was actively involved in an act of criminal trespass against the British government? The answer is simple.

Now we face a conundrum. Iran has flown in the face of the IAEA and U.N. sanctions while it happily progresses in its enrichment of uranium to further seek global domination in what it hopes will be one Muslim world led by violent clerics proclaiming the virtues of a false religion and God. Of course showing disdain for the U.N. is like a two year old pulling the cat's hair after mother says stop. There is no teeth in the U.N. and members of the security council with veto power (China and Russia) have a far more vested interest in supporting Iran than in supporting the United States.

In our country the newly elected Democratic congress has shown with the passage of the "cut and run" bill that they have no interest in dismantling violent regimes in Middle East nor do they by implication desire stability in the region. So I guess the Iranian madman can kill the British sailors or do what he wishes because none of the world leaders have the intestinal fortitude or political leverage to do what needs doing. We are conceding defeat to the aspirations of radical Islam. If President Bush and Prime Minister Blair called me today, (I've been waiting and expect the call anytime now) here is what I would tell them.

Ahmadinejad and his fellow dirt eaters lived as wandering herders 150 years ago. Tribal and religious sect mentality ruled and disputes over things like who eats or sleeps with whose goat tonight were resolved by sawing the head of the other off while he slept. They have squandered every opportunity at stability and responsibility on a world stage because of their adherence to a guttural and medieval view of the human position on the planet. They've killed each other for years and chosen to abandon attempts by gracious countries that helped them make the first attempt at crawling out of the Stone Age. Interpretations of Islam even by those coined moderate show again that these positions of chaos are how they want their lives, governments, and futures to be.

If the Iranian President wants this distorted reality, then I say we give it to him. A return to the Stone Age is easily achieved with the push of a button. Starting over may be the only way to salvage a lost cause. World domination is the Islamic goal, peace cannot be obtained through commerce and diplomacy, and democratic governments around the world refuse to passively become crazy and misinformed fundamentalists. Let's turn it all back to glass and live peacefully without threat of intimidation and murder of the innocents by those desiring to destroy us and our heritage.