Showing posts from November, 2004

U2's The Original of the Species

12/4/04 update: I read recently that these lyrics were written by Bono for The Edge's daughter. Another source had a teenager wanting to become a woman as the inspiration for Bono's lyrics. After reading through the lyrics with this knowledge, they seem to be an emotional longing for a loved child to stay young, at least in spirit.

I could swear Bono sings "here's her father" just after the 3:05 point in the song. This would add credence to the theory that the song was written, at least partly, for The Edge's daughter.

This is a great song from U2's newest album. I've been listening to the album a lot over the past week, and some of the songs are really growing on me. Generally, I don't get too excited about songs the first couple of times I hear them. I think that some of these songs are destined to beome U2 classics. I know some critics disagree. Critics seem to always want innovation, or something new out of a band. I am fine with a band doing…

Free Trade and Globalization

The Stokes Kith and Kin Community Blog cites a David Brooks article extolling the merits of free trade. While generally agreeing with the principle of free trade, I have some reservations. I put my 2 cents in the comments.

Commentary on some current news

Guantanamo Bay Prisoners
The New York Times reports today that the ICRC (Red Cross) submitted a report to the U.S. government earlier this year alleging tactics "tantamount to tourture" being used at the Guantanamo Bay military base in Cuba where detainees from the War on Terrorism are held as "enemy combatants." War hawks and their neo-conservative allies are likely to dismiss this report much as the administration allegedly did when it became aware of it earlier in the year. I'm sure that the practices at Guantanamo will be forcefully defended by conservative talk radio and TV, editorials and politicians as being a necessary part of the war on terrorism. However, the existence of such allegations by an internationally respected organization such as the Red Cross is likely to further damage the U.S. standing in the court of world public opinion. In practical terms, this means that it will be harder for the U.S. to gain valuable allies and assistance and easier …

Thanksgiving 2004

Wednesday morning we awoke to a snowstorm in Kansas City. It was beautiful, and Dominic was excited when he first caught a glimpse of the white drifts outside. He played for a little bit in the snow before we left for work and school, our last day prior to the Thanksgiving vacation. I was one of the few people on my floor that made it into work, and I didn't get there until about 10:30. After a light day of work, I picked up Sharon around 5:00 (we had driven together so I didn't have to drive the truck in the snow) and we went to Weight Watchers. It was Sharon's last weigh-in since she is pregnant. I was happy with my weigh-in. I lost a couple of pounds (though I'm sure I gained them back after my weekend of gluttony.) We didn't stay for the meeting, because we had to go to the grocery store and home to pack before picking up Dominic. We ran our errands, and got to La Petite at about 6:35 to get Dominic. He was the last kid there, and he was waiting out fr…

The Left Behind Series

Here is an interesting diatribe on the Left Behind series by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof.

Mom locks son in trunk....Pathetic!!

If anyone is looking for evidence that evolution is not factual, they should cite this story. It's nearly impossible to believe that idiots such as this would be able to make it through the process of natural selection all the way into the 21st century.

Heart of Gold by Neil Young

Neil Young's Billboard Number One song. To me, this song is about trying to become a good person, charitable and selfless. It is about finding happiness through giving to, and loving, others. Is Young searching for his own heart to be gold, or searching for another heart of gold? Other interpretations I've read seem to favor the view that the "heart of gold" belongs to somebody else. The song is off of Young's Harvest album, which also went to number one. According to critics, the album was influenced by Nashville country music. Indeed, Linda Ronstadt sings backup vocals on Heart of Gold.
The song starts out with some guitar strumming and drums, and then a harmonica comes into the arrangement to add some melody. I'd like to be able to play this melody on my harmonica.

I wanna live;
I wanna give;
I've been a miner for a heart of gold.

It's these expressions I never give;
That keep me searchin for a heart of gold.

And I'm gettin old.
Keep me sear…

Steeler Stuff

Well, I wasn't able to stay awake long enough last night to watch Ben on Letterman. I was so tired from having to be at work so early yesterday. Damn! I always watch Letterman, and the one time I really should watch it, I couldn't make it.

The Patriots are getting a lot of good press about being able to keep winning with all of their injuries, but the Steelers are going through the same type of situation. As a sidenote, so are the Hawkeyes, who are on their 27th string tailback of the season.

I hope the injuries don't ruin the season, but I don't expect that they will be a huge factor. Most of the injuries are not that serious (some are), and key players should be back in time for the playoffs. I don't know what the Steelers are going to do with Kendrell Bell. I really like him, but the guy just gets injured too often. I anticipate he will be cut this offseason to free up some money to resign Plaxico, of whom I am a big fan. I think Plax really wants to st…


Kansas City woke up this morning to quite a snowstorm. It looks beautiful outside, but it was a pain in the butt cleaning off the cars and driveway. I had no idea it was supposed to snow. I guess I should check the weather forecast every once in awhile. I am supposed to run in a 5K tomorrow morning. That is going to be sloppy. Lynae is driving to Iowa tonight, so I hope that the roads are clear. I believe it is supposed to get up to 40 degrees today, so the snow should melt. The problem will be when it gets cold tonight. Will it get cold enough for the melted snow to freeze? If so, the roads are going to stink! I also hope the heavy snow doesn't hurt my trees. I saw a lot of broken tree branches on the way to work.

Dominic was excited to see the snow. He wanted to go outside immediately and play. He put on all of his snow gear, and got to play a little bit outside before school. He made some snowballs, helped me shovel and threw some snowballs. It is great play-snow. Nice and wet…

Ukraine Election

The recent presidential election in Ukraine is an interesting story. Although I can hardly tell the protagonists apart from each other (both of their first names are Viktor, and there last names are also similar), I have been trying to follow the developments. Today, an election commission declared the Kremlin-backed candidate the winner, sparking protests from his opponent's followers that threatens to escalate into open conflict. I've seen one publication go so far as to say civil war is a possibility. There are thousdands of protesters in the street. Can you imagine this happening in front of the White House? I think that this would have been a possibility had we had another election like the 2000 debacle. The Bush administration is in somewhat of a bind. There are widespread allegations that the voting in the Ukrained was flawed. The administration obviously does not want to be seen as endorsing an invalid election. On the other hand, the Bushites also don't …

Five times five of my favorite things

I got this idea from Jaq over at Byzantium's Shores. The excerise was difficult for me, and I had to make some hard choices. I'm reserving the right to change some items upon further reflection.

Scenes From an Italian Resturaunt; Billy Joel
Right Now; Van Halen
Sunday Bloody Sunday; U2
Civil War; Guns n RosesGive to Live; Sammy Hagar
The Lion KingSchindler's List

The Killer Angels; Michael Shaara
Roots; Alex Haley
All the King's Men; Robert Penn Warren
The Hobbit; J.R.R. Tolkien
Crime and Punishment; Dostoevsky

Pittsburgh and surrounding southwestern PA countryside
Tionesta, PA area
Montrose, IA
Cleveland area
Iowa City, IA

Ice Cream

Bill Murray

I read a profile of Bill Murray in the December 2004 issue of Esquire. Murray was featured on the cover with a goldfish hanging out of his lips. I enjoyed the article. I have been a fan of Bill Murray's movies and his comedy. Unfortunately, his SNL stint was before my time, though I've seen a few of his highlights on the show. I did see Lost in Translation for which he was nominated for the Best Actor oscar. I thought his was a masterful performance in that film. He was funny and authentic. I've also enjoyed his previous films, especially Groundhog Day and What About Bob. He has a couple of upcoming films, one in which he plays a sailor/explorer. I'd also like to see some of his other past films, especially Rushmore, for which he won an assortment of awards. In the Esquire story, Murray comes across as an extremely intelligent individual commited to excellence. I think he stands a good chance of winning an Acedemy Award before it's all said and done.

U2 and Neil Young

In this post from a few days ago, I stated that I was eagerly looking forward to getting my hands on the new U2 album, "How to Dismantle a Nuclear Bomb", and also Neil Young's new greatest hits CD. Well, I picked up the Neil Young CD yesterday, and I bought the U2 CD today. I just couldn't wait. I still haven't bought the John Mellencamp greatest hits, mostly because I already have the majority of its songs on other albums.

I have listened to most of the Neil Young CD a couple of times, and I'm listening to the U2 album for the first time right now.

Big Ben's Game In Southern Ohio

The mighty neo-Steel Curtain reared its wrath on Sunday, primarily in the second half of the game against the Cincinnatti Bengals. The defense was certainly a primary contributor to the latest Steeler victory, as it has been all year. At 9-1, the Steelers still sit atop the NFL, with a weak Washington Redskin team coming to Pittsburgh next weekend.

Unfortunately, I have read excerpts from columnists that regarded Big Ben's effort on Sunday as befitting a "rookie", which adjective, of course, accurately describes him. The contention from the majority of the articles I looked at seems to be that Ben played the worst game of his short carreer on Sunday. While this may be true, I take exception to the statements that suggest he "played like a rookie." In fact, Ben had an excellent game. Assisted by another exemplary effort from Jerome Bettis, Ben led the team into the red zone multiple times in the first half, only to see sacks and penalties preventing points…

The Stork Has Landed!!

This past Friday night, I picked Dominic up from school and we arrived home to find Melissa and Sharon extracting boxes from the attic. Earlier in the day, we had made plans to visit Mark, Sherri and their new baby boy Troy. As the ladies finished up their chore, I called Mark to make sure it was a good time to visit. During my conversation with Mark, Sharon and Dominic had migrated downstairs to turn on a cartoon, and Melissa took her leave. A few moments later, after some prodding to get Dominic to turn the TV off, he and Sharon came upstairs to get ready to leave for Mark's house. Dominic was being slightly disagreeable, so I was somewhat distracted by trying to get him to cooperate through pleading and bribing. During this endeavor, I chanced to notice a T-Shirt that was placed overtop of Dominic's sweatshirt. I thought this odd, so I tried to read the lettering on the shirt. As I reached to straighten the shirt out, I discerned the words "I'm the big brother"…

NBA players go berserk in Detroit

This is absolutely pathetic. If Ron Artest cannot take being hit with a beer without charging into the stands and blindly throwing punches, he should not be in this league. I hope that the NBA takes severe action against Artest. It could be a win-win for the NBA and Artest, since Artest seems to want time off anyway to promote his rap album. The NBA should give him time off--and plenty of it. A season's worth? I don't think that is out of the question. Actually, Artest is likely to get his ass sued by some innocent fans. I'm not sure what criminal charges will be brought, if any. But, I wouldn't mind seeing Artest spend a day or two in jail either. His actions were simply inexcusable. No, the fan shouldn't have thrown beer on him. But, give me a break!! To charge into the stands because of this is an outrage??!!! I've been to sporting events in which I've had beer spilled on me, or thrown over me indiscrinantly by some drunken moron. Although…

William Elliott Whitmore

I checked the website of Southern Records, and I noticed that Willie is releasing a new CD in February 2005, titled "Ashes to Dust."

For those that don't know, Willie is the younger brother of one of my best friends. The Whitmore family is a model of dignity. My friendship with Willie's older brother Jon dates back to my grade school years. In highschool, Jon and I developed a close friendship and learned many of life's lessons together. Though Jon can sometimes be crude, he is always true, honest and selfless.

I would like to be able to attend another concert of Willie's. I did make it over to Lawrence, KS last December to see him play at a small club. I had a great time hanging out with him before the show, and watching him perform. Though I haven't heard any of his new music, the track titles alone are revealing, and have me eagerly anticipating being able to hear the songs.

Incidentally, the album title "Ashes to Dust" reminds me of a quote …

SI Jinx?

I noticed today at the gym that the Steelers are on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Does this mean that they will succumb to the legendary "Sports Illustrated Jinx", and fall to the Cincinatti Bengals this coming Sunday?

Not a chance!!!!

I've come to believe that the Steelers are the best team in the NFL. They have the most completed package of players in all facets of the game. Indeed, I think that their biggest question mark might be the head coach. I am supporting Cowher, and I like him, especially his intensity, which he seems to have found again. But, I've seem him pull some boneheaded moves in the past. Let's hope he doesn't bungle anything this year. This team is too special.

By the way, that SI jinx's about to become as relevant as the Washington Redskins predicting the outcome of the presidential election by winning or losing their last home game prior to an election date.

Go Steelers!!!!

And, by the way, go Hawkeyes too. …

Haiku of the Week

Condi bests Colin
In the ongoing struggle
Between hawks and doves.

GI Bill

I've been wondering about the GI Bill ever since I read E.J. Dionne's recommendation to revive it in his book, "Stand Up Fight Back." I have a vague understanding of the GI Bill, which provides financial assistance to veterans of the U.S. armed services. However, I don't know much about its history or its details, both of which I'd like to better understand. I found this website, which explains some of the history and aspects of the GI Bill.

I completely support extending extensive benefits to our veterans, especially those returning from combat. I understand that the country is in a budget crunch, but I would support reallocating money from other programs toward an enhanced GI Bill. These soldiers, who have literally lived through hell, deserve to be compensated in ways that go beyond their paltry pay. Many of them are going to return home war weary, bitter and depressed. They need as much assistance as we can give them.

Bush's new cabinet appointees

Maureen Dowd of the New York Times has some harsh words regarding President Bush's appointments to recently vacated cabinet positions. Her main point is that loyalty is valued over competence by President Bush. Instead of promoting the most capable person for a particular job, President Bush promotes the most loyal person that is likely to suppress dissent. I have to admit that I do not have much confidence in the appointment of Ms. Rice to a position that is supposed to be diplomatic. She is viewed as a war hawk both inside and outside this country. Is she really the person to repair the damaged ties we have with other countries around the world? On the other hand, other countries are likely to truly believe that she is speaking for President Bush. This is an advantage that Colin Powell did not enjoy. While the world continues to look scarry, I wish that we had more of an experienced and gifted diplomat running our Department of State.

Walter the Whale

About a month ago, Sharon told Dominic a bedtime story about a whale named Walter. He had been in the habit of requesting being told a story as opposed to being read a book before bed. This particular night, he wanted to hear a story about a whale.

Well, Walter has since grown into a legend in our house. Walter and his brother have been through many adventures together, and Dominic gets to hear about them all each night before bedtime. In my humble opinion, my wife is a genius for coming up with exciting new tales each night. Dominic absolutely loves them!! I'm not sure how long he will continue to request stories, but I think that Walter is going to be a cherished childhood memory for him.

Last night, because Sharon is sick (yes, I gave her my sickness), I was going to read Dominic some bedtime stories. Well, he wanted to be told stories. So, I told him some stories about a tractor, a crane, a bulldozer and a mixing truck. He seemed to like them alright, but I don't think tha…

I am excited about the following music

U2s new album, "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb". This album is receiving rave reviews. I have, of course, heard the single, "Vertigo", and I've also heard another track briefly on the radio. I like "Vertigo", and the other track sounded good. I can't wait to get my hands on this album. I don't think I can wait until Christmas. I'll probably buy it myself when it is released this month.Neil Young's Greatest Hits. I've been trying for the past year to land some Neil Young CDs on eBay, but I always seem to get outbid. Now, I can buy this greatest hits album--his first ever GH collection. I might be able to hold off on this one, and put it on my Christmas list.John Mellencamp's Greatest Hits. It has over 30 songs, including his new song "Walk Tall", which I really like. I've got a lot of these songs on individuals albums, but it will be nice to have them all collected on one CD. This will go on my Christm…

Is God a Republican?

This quote is courtesy of Jaq over at Byzantium Shores. It made me laugh out loud, so I figured it was worth posting:

"How come God never seems to tell liberals to run for office? Is the Big Guy that partisan? Should future printings of the King James version refer to the Heavenly Father as "God (R-Heaven)"?"

I have no doubt that some people actually think that God does favor Republicans. Personally, I like to think of God as a little bit more openminded.

This also reminds me of a story I read about concerning an interview of Dr. James Dobson by George Stephanopolous a couple days ago. Evidently, Dr. Dobson took exception when George told him that a recent quote he had made seemed unchristian. Dr. Dobson told George that he should not be lecturing him on Christianity. However, it turns out that George's father is a Greek Orthodox priest. I thought that this was pretty funny. I'll try to find a link to the story.

The Flu

I'm just getting over it, or something similar to it. Ouch! This was one rough week. I started to feel bad last Sunday, and am just now starting to feel back to normal. Unfortunately, I missed my woodcarving class on Saturday. I'll try to find one somewhere else so I don't have to wait until the Spring. I did manage to take Dominic to see the Incredibles on Friday night, which was an accomplishment, considering I felt like the smashed popcorn on the floor.

As I lay in bed Saturday morning, half-asleep, half-drugged, but still suffering, I thought about the connections of my illness to a theme from Brave New World. In Brave New World, disease had been eliminated. Nobody got sick. But, was this a good thing? Certainly, it seemed like it would be a good thing for me last week if nobody ever got sick. But, I'm not so sure. It's a hard question. There are many implications that come along with eliminating all sickness and disease. Overpopulation is one con…

Pastures of Plenty, by Woody Guthrie

Harmonica, Guitar strumming folk song by Woody Guthrie. The song evokes an image of hard-working, poverty-stricken migrant workers that are possibly bitter, but have a pride in the products of their labor. It seems like Guthrie is singing to the Earth itself. Incidentally, I think that "Pastures of Plenty" would be a great name for a blog.

It's a mighty hard row that my poor hands has hoed;
My poor feet has traveled a hot dusty road;
Out of your dust bowl and westward we rolled;
And your desert was hot and your mountains was cold.

I worked in your orchards of peaches and prunes; (migrant workers)
Slept on the ground in the light of your moon; (homeless)
On the edge of your city you'll seen us and then; (apart from civilization)
We come with the dust and we go with the wind. (transience)

California and Arizona I make all your crops;
Then it's north up to Oregon to gather your hops;
Dig the beets from your ground, cut the grapes from your vine;
To set on your tabl…

No! No! The other Powell!!

Well, today is a dark day in the world of politics. One of the few men of reason in the Bush administration resigned, as expected. Colin Powell fought admirally for a multilateral approach to war, and other matters. As an experienced politician and veteran, Powell well understood the difficulties of waging war without a broad alliance. In his words, "you break it, you fix it." Not to mention, at a high cost. Let's just ask the tax payers for an additional $87 billion that we don't have because of huge tax cuts given to the wealthiest people on the planet earth.

The person that needs to resign is Mr. Powell's son, Michael, head of the FCC. In its pandering to the demands of the religious right, the FCC has decided to levy fines indiscriminately against TV stations for airing profanity. Free press? Depends on the words you use. The younger Powell seems to be taking a page from George W. Bush, who also understood that his father was not ideologically cons…

You know its a GREAT season when.....

The Steelers defeat the Brownies to go 9-1 on their own turf while literally beating them up even before the game starts. Generally, I don't condone violence. But, when it comes to the Steelers and the Browns, I'd like to see everyone in an orange helmet with a split lower lip like the one that Joey Porter delivered to William Green yesterday. I kind of wish Cowher would have slugged Butch Davis after the game, but that was asking a little much. Anyway, this dream of a season continued yesterday in another masterful performance by the defense and offensive line. On to Cincinnatti, which will not be an easy game. That is good. I hope the Ravens keep winning, too, so the Steelers don't rest on their laurels. I think there is little chance of them letting up though, since they have more than once been in this position.

Go Steelers!!!!

Here we go Steelers, Here we go!!

I've got a feeling......

Haiku of the Week

Cleveland, here we come.
The Steel Curtain awakens
To quiet Browns' fans.

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

I finished reading Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. Some of my thoughts on the novel are here. I am now on the second half of Stand Up, Fight Back by E.J. Dionne, Jr., and then it's on to Call of the Wild by Jack London.

Smoking Bans and the FCC

There is a debate here in Kansas City, MO whether to implement a law that bans smoking in eating establishments and bars. Let me be clear; I hate smoking! I always have, and I always will. I am also dubious of the social Darwinian promise that the market is a cure for everything. This being said, I think that the market is the best solution for the issue of smoking in eating establishments and bars. I am opposed to passing legislation that would require eating establishments and bars to ban smoking (though on a personal level, I would enjoy my bar experience much more!) Let bars that want to allow smoking operate however they want to, as long as smoking remains legal. Consumers really do have a choice of attending smoking establishments. They can choose not to attend these establishments, and if enough consumers take this route, the bars and eating establishments will change policy on their own--without legal involvement. I'll be the first one to admit that I hate coming home afte…

I've got a feeling.....

Steeler fans know the rest of the phrase!!

This is the year! One for the thumb......finally!

Bipartisan Baloney

I am getting tired of all of the talk of unity and bipartisanship. Sure, I wish that the country was more united. But, it isn't! Suppressing opposing dialouge isn't going to unite the country. There is nothing wrong with an opposition clearly stating why they oppose current policies. In fact, anything less seems cowardly. Ostensibly projecting an image of bipartisanship is a dangerous way to conceal the real effects of policies. The country needs opposing parties to challenge the ideas from the other side. The thing that needs to change is the tone of the discourse. Opposition does not have to be nasty. People ought to be able to state their opposition to the war in Iraq without comparing Bush to Hitler and without fear of being labelled as traitors. Democrats especially, of which I am not one, need to get their act together quickly so that they can provide intelligent opposition of ideological conservative policies. Otherwise, they will be steamrolled by the Repub…

Passing the hat

One of the issues that most roils me about the current administration is the fact that they are willing to borrow money at such an alarming rate while passing off this huge debt to our next generation instead of forcing this generation's rich folk from footing the bill. This is akin to Sharon and I borrowing as much money as we possibly can, and living it up, hoping to die before we have to pay it back. It is an abdication of responsibility on a grand scale. I'm o.k. with borrowing money during a time of war, but for God's sake, don't cut off your revenue stream at the same time. The conventional supply side argument is that the lower taxes will spur economic growth that will eventually increase gross tax receipts, even with lower tax rates. However, this is theoretical. It looks like a nice picture on economic graph paper, and there are all kinds of statistics to back it up, just like there are statistics to back up opposing views. I hope the logic holds, but I…

Some thoughts, comments and questions

George Bush has all but won the presidential election of 2004. Only a John Kerry concession stands in the way, and it is hard telling when that will take place, but it is almost a certain event.

I feel bad for voters that had to stand in line for hours. I heard some reports of voters in lines that were lasting 8 hours! I feel especially bad for these voters if the outcome was not to their liking. Fortunately, I only had to wait in line for about 3 minutes.

On a similar note, I think it is ashame that voters have to wait in line for such a long time to vote. Can't we get some more volunteers and equipment? I think elections are important enough to spend some more money on if necessary.

The electoral map looks virtually the same as it did in 2000, give or take a few small states. Admitedly, small states can make all the difference.

I am not surprised that Bush won, but I am disappointed.

I am amazed that the entire country thinks that the half of the country that doesn't agree w…

This morning, I voted for John Kerry for President

For me, more than anything else, this election is a referendum on the presidency of George W. Bush. I did not particularly trust Mr. Bush when he was elected four years ago because of his close connections with extremist factions of his party. I watched his policies closely, more closely than I had ever before watched political policies. During the time leading up to 9/11, I was becoming annoyed with the manner in which Mr. Bush's administration pushed and passed extreme conservative ideological policies. I was not the only one dismayed. Many moderates who had bought into Mr. Bush's marketing campaign as a compassionate conservative, and who had believed him when he said that he was a "uniter not a divider", were dismayed when it quickly became apparent that Mr. Bush was going to govern and pander to his most trustworthy political bases--the extremely wealthy and the religious right. It turned out that George W. Bush's presidency became far more ideologically con…

The Battle for Pennsylvania

No, not the battle between Bush and Kerry for the 21 electoral votes that Pennsylvania offers. Instead, the battle for Pennsylvania supremecy will take place next Sunday at Heinz Field as the streaking Steelers look to knock off another undefeated team--the cross state Philadelphia Eagles.

I've got a good gut feeling about the Steelers this year. The Super Bowls of recent years have been showcases for young quarterbacks, and I think Ben Roethlisberger can continue that trend this year. The Steelers are playing as well, or better, than anyone in the AFC right now. I think that they have the ingredients this year to make a serious run at a Super Bowl title. Could next week's game be a preview of the Super Bowl? Could yesterday's game be a preview of the AFC championship game? Not likely, in my opinion. I think the Patriots will falter. They have some key injuries and some tough games ahead of them. Furthermore, I think that the Eagles will blow another great seaso…

Burgettstown in the spotlight

Today, the day before the presidential election, President Bush made a campaign stop in Burgettstown, PA. Unbelievable! He stopped at the Post-Gazette Pavilion, formerly known as Star Lake Ampitheater. Burgettstown is where I lived until I was 6 years old, its where my parents grew up and its where I was married. I was surprised to learn that Bush would pick Burgettstown as a campagin stop. Of course, he wouldn't have gone into the town proper, which is a dreary picture of boarded up shops. Burgettstown is, and has been for some time, an icon for a bad economy. Nevertheless, Bush took advantage of the location at the Post-Gazette Pavilion, which is only a few miles from neighboring West Virginia and Ohio, also swing states in tomorrow's election.

I wonder what it would be like to attend a Bush rally. I've read that attndees must swear an oath of allegiance to the President to be allowed into the rally. I don't know if this is true or not. I suspect that it is…