May 9, 2011

If you want to see exactly what we’re dealing with here in Arizona, check this story out. It’s a disgrace, and what they’re teaching these kids is both dangerous and a menace to American society. When you’ve got high-schoolers – high schoolers! – mimicing the public sector union protests in Wisconsin to the point where riot police had to come in and clear them out so a school board meeting could take place, you’ve got problems.

Talk about the inmates running the asylum. Me? I’d expel them all. That, my friends would teach them a true lesson in the issue of “social justice”…

Whose parents would allow their kids to behave in such a classless, unruly, and juvenile way? Welcome to the new America, courtesy of the community organizer. It’s a disgrace.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 00:15 | Comments (0)
May 8, 2011

seve Sad news from across the pond on Saturday, where legendary golfer Seve Ballesteros lost his battle with brain cancer and passed away quietly at the age of 54. Yahoo! Sports writer Jonathan Wall succinctly writes of Ballesteros’ impact on the game of golf:

It’s hard to put into words how important Ballesteros was to the game of golf. During his career, he amassed 91 professional wins, 5 major championships, and was credited with helping turn the European Tour into a proving ground for the game’s elite. While his success was legendary, it was Seve’s charisma on the course that seemed to captivate us all. When he stepped over an impossible shot, you almost knew something incredible was about to happen.

When Seve was playing, he was always one I looked forward to watching. He was tenacious, imaginative, fiery, charismatic, and just fun to watch. Had a bunker game that was incomparable. From his play he inspired a new generation of golfers who have helped raise the exposure of the European Tour and turn golf into the global sport it is today. In a day where too many of today’s young pros seem as if they’ve been churned out of cookie-cutter college golf factories, lacking in color, personality, and creativity, Seve Ballesteros stands out as a giant whose legacy will endure long beyond the sadness of his passing.

Here’s a nice tribute to Ballesteros, although why it didn’t include either this shot or this shot or this putting trick is a puzzler, for from them you really get an idea of his unique and exciting talents. It’s a shame he passed away at such an early age – he still should have had plenty of golf left in him.

Rest in peace, Seve – you were one of the greats and you will be missed.

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 00:20 | Comments (0)
May 7, 2011

Been meaning to post this for a while now, but it’s only been in the last two weeks that the final piece to the unfinished puzzle that had been our livingroom area was finally put into place. The first pic shows what it looked like prior to the initial suburban renewal project we started in the spring of 2010, replacing all the wall-to-wall carpeting and outdated stone tile with travertine tile and wood laminate:



* Wall-to-wall carpeting
* Stone tile around kitchen island
* Area rug under coffee table
* Venetion blinds in all windows
* Black wrought-iron curtain rods
* Dark blue curtains and window dressings
* Brown wall paint
* Southwest-style earthtone table lamps
* Vivitek 44″ DLP TV (it was a piece of junk)
* Woodland painting above couch
* Indian nick-nacks on wall above TV
* CD / DVD cabinets on each side of TV


* Laminate wood flooring
* New area rug under coffee table
* White plantation shutters in all windows
* Two-tone sea green Venetian plaster paint
* Art-deco wall art above couch
* Artificial floor plant
* Bar stools for kitchen island
* Wrought-iron floor screen to hide CD/DVD cabinets moved into northwest corner of room
* Our original two-tone blue/green table lamps from storage with new “racetrack” style shades
* Two-tone decorative earthenware bowl on coffee table
* Vizio 55″ LCD TV (beautiful TV, excellent picture BTW)

And here’s what it looks like after all the changes. Pretty nice, huh?


We love all the soft, muted colors and the sense of open space that has been created. The most surprising aspect of it all is how it came together without any kind of plan. I mean, I knew I wanted plantation shutters to replace the blinds and window treatments, but the two-tone paint colors were chosen on a whim – little did we know that later on, the wall art and floor screen (found by pure accident while perusing the Internet), and our original lamps would all compliment the colors we had chosen. With the white French doors replacing the slider door out to our redesigned back patio, it’s like a little piece of the Caribbean in the desert Southwest.

Speaking of the lamps, the one extravagance about the whole room turned out to be the damned lamp shades. The original shades that had come with the lamps had begun falling apart – heck, they were twenty years old and had survived three big moves. Finding suitable replacements, however, became a challenge that forced us to a specialty shop. What we got weren’t exactly custom, but the shop owner knew exactly what would look good and, without disclosing cost, they weren’t what you’d pay at a Lowe’s or WalMart, that’s for sure. Have you priced nice lamp shades lately? Wow. But they look great, and it felt really good to see our old lamps look so good in their new surroundings.

Once we pay down our debt, the pièce de résistance will be the replacement of the brown sofa and love seat. Tracey wants to do something in eggplant or a muted plum; I think it will look great.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:27 | Comments (3)
May 6, 2011

Tracey calls our place “the postage stamp” because that’s what it must look like from 500 feet above ground. She’s right – with the walls around us that’s exactly what it must look like.

It’s shortly before midnight as I’m writing this post. The air temperature is 77 degrees, the pool temp is 77 degrees, and there’s not a lick of breeze in the air. After my 1 1/2 mile walk nearly two hours ago, I wasn’t ready to take a dip in the pool, so I’m showered, shaved, brushed, and lounging here in my wicker chair listening to the melancholy, sentimental sounds of Scott Joplin rags played by Bach Scholar. He does a very nice job on them.

It truly is a beautiful night here on the patio. No real heat yet, but that’s coming soon enough. I’ve got the pineapple lights off, so it’s just me, the ceiling fan lazily stirring the air above me, the Mutant speakers with their happy blue lights playing Joplin softly in the background, and several birds making sounds in the night from a neighbor’s tree. I just heard one of them flapping its wings and landing on the queen palm just yards away in front of me, but I’m not sure what kind of bird it was.

For a moment, the sound of the birds took me back in time to a night many years ago when, during Holy Week, I volunteered to spend a few hours in the middle of the night at my Episcopal church at that time to staff our annual “night watch with Jesus” (between the end of the Maundy Thursday service and the start of the Good Friday noonday service). That night, all was quiet around me except for the sound of a single bird chirping loudly outside. The sense of God’s presence both inside and outside the church moved me deeply at that time, and I had completely forgotten about the moment until now.

A plane on its approach to Sky Harbor Airport passes over me. Over the speakers comes my favorite Joplin rag, “Solace”. Between the night, the music, the birds, the ceiling fan, the beautiful patio, and the the Johnny Walker Red in my hand (three fingers, one ice cube), I cannot remember a time when I felt so much at peace within, and with the world around me (even though it’s hardly peaceful). It’s a blessing, and I thank God for this precious moment in time.

I feel very, very fortunate indeed.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:57 | Comments (0)
May 5, 2011

Look, I know that sometimes, as a conservative, I come across as a little harsh about those of the opposite political persuasion – I certainly don’t mean to. But I have to admit, what is someone who takes this country’s social and economic problems seriously to do with a political ideology that continually uses juvenile, threatening, and devious methods as a way to try and get their message across?

First, the juvenile: Check out this story from Florida. This is EXACTLY what I’m talking about. Do Republicans and conservatives, in defending Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity” budget proposal, have all the cures to what ails this country economically? Of course not, and I don’t think anyone – even Rep. Ryan – is saying they do. But what he has done is put forth a thoughtful alternative to President Obama’s recent so-called “budget proposal” (I say so-called because it’s nothing but a bunch of tired Democrat talking-points that does nothing to address the deficit and cut the size of government spending) in the hopes that Democrats will put forth their own serious proposal – something the country is still waiting for.

Don’t hold your breath.

Next, the threatening: Believe me, I want serious, even passionate, debate over how this country is going to right its ship economically. Everyone who cares about this country’s future should want – and demand – the same. But when you have the NLRB threatening a major private-sector employer who simply wants to control its labor costs in a very competitive marketplace by opening a non-union shop in South Carolina, or we witness angry mob actions and other threatening tactics by public sector unions in Wisconsin in response to a Governor’s proposal to get his state’s deficit under control, I have to wonder if Democrats have anything of substance to offer in the coming economic debate.

Finally, the devious. It’s no wonder we live in such cynical times. While I as much as anyone have applauded the President for taking out Osama bin Laden, one has to wonder after the past couple of days what – if anything – the White House can ever tell the truth about. One would think that an important accomplishment like this would simply be announced and followed with the appropriate level of detail. Now we’ve got photoshopped White House photos, staged press conference re-enactments, and an appalling evolving narrative about what the actual circumstances were around the bin Laden raid.

Look, this country is facing a cataclysmic collapse of its social and economic order if we don’t face our reckless spending, entitlement program, and mounting deficit demons square on, and we must find a way to come together to debate and address these problems in a mature, thoughtful, and honest way. Given the above, I’m very pessimistic about that ever happening. I hate to say it, but the more I think about it, the more I think this country gets what it deserves in the end. It just bugs me that I’m likely to be around to see it happen.

I think Bob Hope had it right after all.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 00:59 | Comments (0)
May 4, 2011

After the past couple of days I need a break from serious topics; it’s time to get on to truly important stuff, like:

Check out this article on the best 19th holes in golf. And be sure to check out the gallery that accompanies it – there are some beautiful places out there to quaff a beer or cocktail after a long day on the links. Fellow Goodboy Steve “Killer” Kowalski will get to see The Tap Room at Pebble Beach when he plays there next month.

The 2011 U.S. Open at Congressional C.C. is going to be fun to watch. It’s one of my favorite courses to watch on TV – a beautiful tract (isn’t that gorgeous!). And it sounds like it’s going to be quite the challenge. As it ought to be.

Word on the street is that there’s a bit of an arms race going on ahead of this year’s Goodboys Invitational. I hear the the fore-mentioned “Killer” Kowalksi has upgraded his entire arsenal with new woods and irons, I’ve got my new Cobra S2 woods (if I can learn to hit them I’ll be deadly!), so I’m wondering if anyone else out there cares to make their intentions known?

I’m not tipping anyone’s hand here, but word is The Oaks Golf Links in Somersworth, New Hampshire and Black Swan Country Club in Georgetown, Massachusetts are both under consideration for this year’s Goodboys Invitational. If anyone out there has played these tracts post a comment.

As for me, I’d love to see the semi-private Portsmouth Country Club allows the Goodboys three of their precious tee times on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon – it’s my all-time favorite course. Portsmouth is like my own personal Congressional. I’ve never played that well there, but I love it nonetheless.

Filed in: Golf & Sports,Goodboys by The Great White Shank at 00:53 | Comment (1)
May 3, 2011

cain You know how you can tell which prospective candidate against Barack Obama in the 2012 elections the mainstream dino-media fears most? It’s the one you’ll never see any coverage on. You have to understand the following:

The mainstream dino-media would love to see Mitt Romney run against Obama.

The mainstream dino-media would love to see Mike Huckabee run against Obama.

The mainstream dino-media would love to see Newt Gingrich run against Obama.

The mainstream dino-media would love to see Ron Paul run against Obama.

The mainstream dino-media would love to see Donald Trump run against Obama.

You know who the mainstream dino-media fears more than any other in the prospective slate of candidates who might run against Obama 2012? Herman Cain (hat tip: Instapundit).

Why? Because Herman Cain is not afraid of Barack Obama. He’s not afraid of the mainstream dino-media. He’s fully aware of the way liberals and the mainstream dino-media operate, and how they will do whatever they can to tear down anyone who dares to question any policy or philosophy Barack Obama deigns from his throne on high the mainstream dino-media has constructed for him.

Cain, like Donald Trump, I suppose, has his own ideas about growing the economy – ideas that run 180 degrees counter to what the socialist / Marxist agenda Barack Obama and his idealogues are attempting to shove down this country’s throat. But where Cain differs from Trump – and, I believe, the rest of the prospective 2012 field – is his ability for straight talk that inspires people to believe in the power of the individual. Listening to Herman Cain, you get the sense that he has a deep and abiding faith in individuals to make their own decisions rather than government making the decisions for them.

Right now, both the mainstream dino-media and the Republican Party establishment in Washington would rather some bland, colorless RINO (Republican In Name Only) like Romney or Huckabee get the nomination in order to keep the status quo. But, given my earlier post for today, his nation cannot afford (literally!) the status quo any longer. And that’s where Herman Cain comes in. His no-nonsense, pragmatic approach to getting our fiscal house in order and our economy moving again is exactly what this country needs right now. Were he to win the nomination and choose someone with extensive foreign policy experience like former UN ambassador John Bolton, I believe he could beat Barack Obama like a cheap set of bongo drums.

I respect and admire Herman Cain, and look forward to his announcing that he’s entering the 2012 GOP presidential sweepstakes. America needs his inspiration, his optimism, his seriousness, and his can-do attitude – desperately.

Run, Herman, run!

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 00:58 | Comments (2)

Mayday [?me??de?]: n. (Electronics & Computer Science / Communications & Information) the international radiotelephone distress signal

Another unusual dual post for today (this one and the one to follow), but I think they go together and I hope you’ll see why. Let me first state that, despite the harsh rhetoric reserved for Barack Obama and the liberal Left in this country, I’m an optimist by nature and feel that, no matter how bad things might look at a given time, they will generally work out in the end. I like people by nature, and strive as hard as I can to see the best in people, figuring that the Golden Rule of treating others as you would like to be treated yourself will only return good things in the long run.

Why this preface, you ask? Because I hate to dash all the grotesque, self-congratulating tone of the Obama administration following the assassination of Osama bin Laden with a return to reality and such a depressing topic – the coming economic and social meltdown of the United States. Recently, while looking over some blogs on offshoring (given the amount of work that involves me with India), I came across this article and it shook me deeply – not just because much of what is written there is true, but that it’s happening right before our very eyes, and no one in the media (I’ll forego the “mainstream dino” bit due to the seriousness of which I write), seems to even care:

But for American workers, a “global marketplace” is really bad news. In the United States, businesses are subject to a vast array of very complex laws, rules and regulations that make it very difficult to operate in this country. That makes it very tempting for corporations to simply move out of the U.S. in order to avoid all of the hassle.

In addition, the United States now has the highest corporate tax rate in the entire world. This also provides great motivation for corporations to move operations outside of the country.

The biggest thing affecting American workers, however, is the fact that labor has now become a global commodity. U.S. workers have now been merged into a global labor pool. Americans must now directly compete for jobs with hundreds of millions of desperate people willing to work for slave labor wages on the other side of the globe.

So exactly how is an American worker supposed to compete with a highly motivated person on the other side of the planet that makes $1.50 an hour with essentially no benefits?

Just think about it.

If you were a big global corporation, would you want to hire American workers which would cost you 10 or 20 times more after everything is factored in?

Not only is reading the entire article a must, but check out the comments. It’s pretty sobering stuff, even frightening.

And if that isn’t enough to depress you, this aricle about American hellholes is another that will shake you to the core. It’s heartbreaking, really.

And it’s all happening right before our very eyes. And few in Washington on either side of the political aisle, but most especially the weekly golfer in the White House – seems interested in, or even capable of, doing anything about it. And that’s not just me being anti-Obama or (in Whoopi Goldberg’s terms) a racist, it a fact. Where is the leadership? Where is the courage to tell this country the unvarnished truth about how we’ve been living above our means for so long and that a day of reckoning is upon us? It’s so depressing and disheartening that the people whom we’ve elected to look out for our nation’s well-being and future propsperity are either so clueless or recklessly incompetent – or both – that they’d allow this kind of thing to go on without telling Americans that their ship of state is going down the tubes, and far faster than anyone realizes. Where’s the “mayday” call?

I’m so glad I was born when I was back in the mid-’50s. The ’60s and ’70s were golden years to grow up in. Looking back, it really was the best of times in my mind. I feel bad for the youth of today. Between the “baby boomers”, who (perhaps with every good intent) spoiled their kids rotten, creating this sense of entitlement I’ve never understood, and their children, who have now become “mommie and daddy dearests” to a generation of youth completely out of control without any sense of boundaries, moderation, or (to quote the late, great Boston DJ Bill Marlowe) taste, class, and appreciation, we live in an entitlement society run amok.

It’s too bad, tragic, really, because this generation and the one to come are in for a very, very rude awakening – it’s happening right now, all across this country – can’t you see? We are so screwed. And those “American hellholes” are growing in size every day just as this country’s social and economic foundations become ever more fragile. Not only are the youth of today guaranteed to see their standard of living fall, it’s going to fall precipitously, and they’ll be facing the hardest of hard times without ever being taught by their parents (or even grandparents) how to get through them through common sense, hard work, religious faith, and trust in the goodness of people. They will find themselves living in truly apocalyptic times, and I hope and pray I’m not around to see it.

Is there anyone who cares about this kind of thing anymore?

The warning signs are all around us – at some point, our economy will collapse when the government won’t be able to meet its obligations to its lenders. How can you sustain a system where the number of people paying taxes no longer covers what this government spends? Doesn’t anyone see that? It does no good to criticize and condemn the industries of this country that are making money and employing people here right here in the U.S., yet we hear this from Obama and his leftist loon and goon pals on a daily basis. And don’t get me started on the liberal Left and their support for illegal immigration.

Doesn’t anyone – not least the President – understand we’re broke? Doesn’t anyone understand that the only way we are going to stop this ship from sinking entirely is to make it easier – not harder – for corporations both large and small to do business worldwide and keep jobs right here in the U.S.? And for Americans first and foremost?

Is there anyone out there who can lead this country away from the awful precipice we find ourselves on?

I believe there is.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 00:03 | Comments (0)
May 2, 2011

Finally, the bastard is dead. May he rot in hell.

I was going to post a couple of items today regarding our country’s economic situation, but this is too big. That can wait – after all, it’s not as if our economic problems are going away anytime soon.

Congratulations to our special forces involved in the operation and to President Barack Obama for pulling the trigger – literally – on the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. Go Navy SEALs – very well done! I especially love the fact we never asked for Pakistan’s permission and did what we needed to do, although it does appear the ISI (Pakistan’s secret intelligence agency) was involved to a certain extent. Can’t wait to hear more about the details of the operation; it must be a fantastic story to be told. I can’t wait to see the movie. (Hat tip: Hot Air)

What an incredibly fascinating age we live in, technology-wise. One of the conservative blogs I regularly follow – Free Republic – had this interesting item that came across early Sunday afternoon. Everyone was wondering what it meant; as one of the latter commenters noted, I guess now we know. I mean, how cool is that? I guess it’s hard to keep anything truly secret anymore.

The most accurate and poignant line of the day comes courtesy of Hot Air’s Allahpundit; I feel exactly the way he does:

I feel strangely low key about the news, to my surprise; since it broke a few hours ago, I’ve been thinking of the sound the second plane made when it hit the second tower. Nothing will undo it, not even this. But it’s rewarding to know that Bin Laden spent his last 10 years living like a rat and that he had to look Americans in the eye at the moment of truth. It’s better than a happy ending. It’s a just one.

This is not a moment for celebration, it is a moment to remember all of those innocents who perished nearly ten years ago and recognizing that, finally, a certain chapter in a very sad and tragic book has been now forever closed.

My God have mercy on the souls of all those whose lives were forever lost or changed as a result of the events of 9/11, and may He bless the brave men and women of our nation’s armed forces and their noble efforts to make sure justice has finally been served.

Enjoy your time in Hell, Osama – you’ve had it coming to you for quite some time. And, sorry about the lack of virgins… you should have thought about that when you were destroying the lives of innocent three-year olds and others. May God damn you and your soul.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 00:37 | Comments (3)
May 1, 2011

utahprez at Polipundit blog has the most spot-on and insightful commentary on Barack Obama, his presidency, and the liberal left and their insufferable syncophants in the mainstream dino-media I’ve read this year. It’s a must-read. He closes with the following:

His protectors are legion. They are from all classes because he represents something different to each of them. In the prologue to the second of his autobiographies, “The Audacity of Hope,” he said:

“I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views.”

They are willing to cover for him because he is black, he is a liberal, he is a lawyer, a community organizer, an elitist, an academic, a leftist politician, a supporter of feminism/abortion, and he is a product of the welfare state and affirmative action. He has tentacles reaching into every bastion of liberal thought. His supporters and defenders look at him and see themselves – every attack on Obama is a personal attack on them, every criticism is a personal affront.

What they didn’t count on was his immaturity of leadership, his indecision and his incompetence. They rushed the incubation of the embryonic Liberal Superman by a few years and birthed him too early. His political gestation was not complete, so instead of a Teflon-coated Liberal SuperReagan stepping forth fully formed from the womb, they got a incomplete, underdeveloped and inexperienced version of Jimmy Carter.

They know that he is failing. The Left is beginning to smell blood in the water – and they are in a panic now that they realize that it is their own. While still remaining on the mild side, Olbermann, Maher, Rosie O’Donnell and Paul Krugman have all taken shots. Chris “Tingle” Matthews has also criticized the One, basically calling him Bush III, saying this about his first Libya speech: “This statement could have been put out by the first President Bush. It has the aspect of an Arabist statement. I shouldn’t be too strong here, but it doesn’t have any dignity.” Dennis “The Menace” Kucinich was quoted as saying that the Libya Kinetic Military Action™ might be “an impeachable offense.”

They know that his Keynesian economic policies have failed, the health care lies told to pass it are being revealed, his foreign policy is coming apart and the social Utopians are restless that nirvana is taking so long to achieve. They know that he is hurting the county…

…but they will always prop him up. Every failure will be spun as a positive. 9% unemployment is the “new-normal”, $14 trillion in debt is nothing to worry about, $5 a gallon gas is good for us, the foreclosure and pension crises are just a right wing plot to embarrass the President.

Why will they protect him in light of what is obvious to rational Americans?

Why? Because all the chips are riding on him – they went all-in hoping to draw to a royal flush, the unbeatable hand. He was the hole card, the ace of spades (no pun intended, spades is generally recognized as the highest suit and the ace completes the A-K-Q-J-10 royal flush). If Obama is recognized as a failure, all that he represents – socialism, big government, social programs, Keynesian economics, welfare, destruction of corporations, redistribution of wealth, elitist academia, what is left of media credibility and above all, liberalism, all go down with him.

They made a big bet.

Liberals needed an ace and drew a joker.

It is a must read, and I hope y’all will take a minute or two to read it.

This emperor is increasingly seen as having no clothes, and 2012 is going to be a very interesting year.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 00:37 | Comments (0)


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